It is crowded in the tropical Atlantic with three more named storms and a system in the Gulf

Published: Aug. 21, 2023 at 12:59 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - We are in the peak of hurricane season at the end of August and the tropics definitely got the memo this week.

We have three named systems in the tropical Atlantic on Monday along with Tropical Depression Nine, which is likely to become Harold by Tuesday.

Tropical Satellite
Tropical Satellite(WVUE)

TD Nine is traversing the central Gulf towards the west, set to bring heavy rainfall and tropical-storm-force winds to southern Texas on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for the southern Texas coast.

The large ridge of high pressure over us that has kept things hot this week is helping to keep the system to our south, directing it westward. As long as this feature remains over us it will be difficult to get a storm in the northern Gulf.

PTC Nine Track
PTC Nine Track(WVUE)

Franklin in the Caribbean

Tropical Storm Franklin formed in the Caribbean this weekend. It is traveling westward but is expected to take a northern turn towards the central Caribbean islands by Tuesday morning.

TS Franklin
TS Franklin(WVUE)

Turks and Caicos are included in a Tropical Strom Warning with heavy rainfall and flooding expected. Franklin is forecast to slightly weaken due to land interaction before entering the open waters of the Atlantic once again and heading northward.

The environment is marginally conducive for development with warm waters but high shear. The NHC is still expecting Franklin to become a hurricane by the end of the week. This would be the second hurricane of the 2023 Atlantic season.

Central Atlantic Storms

There are also two named storms in the central Atlantic, but neither will be long-lived.

Tropical Storm Emily formed Sunday but has already been downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone as it travels north through a high-shear environment.

Tropical Storm Gert was upgraded Sunday evening from a tropical depression but is also expected to be torn apart as it heads into a volatile high-shear environment on its westward track towards the Lesser Antilles.

Wind Shear Forecast
Wind Shear Forecast(WVUE)

We are also monitoring a wave off the coast of Africa with a medium chance of developing into a tropical depression or storm over the next two days and a high chance over the next week.

Why the north turn?

Franklin. Gert and Emily have all begun to make a northward turn towards the central Atlantic.

Typically in August, the storm track takes systems westward into the Gulf or up the U.S. East Coast. We have seen a different pattern this summer than usual.

The Bermuda High normally is located in the central Atlantic as a semi-permanent area of high pressure. Due to the record warm sea surface temperatures and likely the emerging El Nino, the high has weakened and is moving around more.

The Bermuda High
The Bermuda High(WVUE)
The Bermuda High
The Bermuda High(WVUE)

This week the high is shifted towards the eastern Atlantic and is fairly weak. This draws tropical systems up the west side of the high and out to sea.

There is also a strong trough, or area of low pressure, over the central Atlantic that is helping to steer the systems northeastward away from the U.S. and up the alley on the west side of the high.

The Bermuda High
The Bermuda High(WVUE)

Models indicate that the high is expected to remain in the eastern and central Atlantic through the weekend.

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