There are two active tropical cyclones swirling over the Atlantic Ocean, one being Tropical Storm Beryl and the other Tropical Depression Three. Beryl, which was the first hurricane of the season, will track westward and into the Caribbean Sea beginning Sunday night, threatening parts of the Lesser Antilles with tropical storm conditions. Then by Tuesday, Puerto Rico, will be at risk for some impacts, although most of the model guidance keeps this storm to the south of the island.
There is also Tropical Depression Three, which formed Friday afternoon off the Carolina coast. This storm will likely become a tropical storm either this Sunday or Monday, receiving the name Chris, as the cyclone meanders just over a hundred miles off the Outer Banks. Now while this storm is not forecast to make landfall on the US, it will still bring indirect threats to much of the East Coast. Tropical Depression Three is also expected to intensify into a hurricane — the second of the season already — by Wednesday as it heads out to sea toward Nova Scotia.
Tropical Storm Beryl:
Satellite imagery this morning illustrates a very different look to Beryl compared to what we saw Friday. The entrainment of dry air has likely taken a toll on the storm now that its convection is displaced to the south. The National Hurricane Center does anticipate this storm to continue to weaken somewhat as it tracks over the central Lesser Antilles, but it will still remain a strong tropical storm. Therefore, Tropical Storm Watches and Warnings are in effect, and this includes some of the same islands slammed by Hurricane Maria back in 2017. Thankfully, this will not be another Maria but instead a tropical storm, bringing in some heavy rain and gusty winds. Localized mudslides may be possible and some wind damage.
As Beryl tracks into the Caribbean Sea starting Monday, she will continue to move in a northwesterly direction, staying south of the Greater Antilles until Monday night when she may make landfall as a weak tropical storm on the island of Hispaniola. By this time period, it’s somewhat unclear what entity this storm will be. It may either be a weak tropical storm or possibly just a tropical wave. Either way, minor impacts are only expected. Thankfully, this storm should track to the south of Puerto Rico, but the island is still taking precautions ahead of this storm. That includes opening up over 400 shelters and the governor declaring a State of Emergency.
Tropical Depression Three:
The second storm on the docket, Tropical Depression Three, is currently meandering off the Carolina coast and will continue to do so through early-next week. This storm will remain over a hundred miles offshore from the Outer Banks as it strengthens into Tropical Storm Chris on Monday. It’s not until Tuesday when the storm will begin to pull away from the coast and track out to sea, with a blocking pattern allowing the storm to strengthen. Just because this storm won’t make landfall on the US does not mean there won’t be any impacts. There will certainly be noticeable rip currents beginning this weekend as well as enhanced surf.
As the storm tracks out to sea in the northeasterly direction, it will likely strengthen into a hurricane due to the conducive environment it will be in, especially gas it sits over the Gulf Stream. Now while there is still the risk southeastern New England gets clipped by this storm, every model currently takes this storm far enough offshore for no direct impacts. The only area where a direct impact is possible in the form of a landfall is Nova Scotia or Newfoundland, possible even as a hurricane or a post-tropical cyclone at hurricane strength.
Following this storm and Beryl, the activity in the Atlantic should settle back down. Despite this surprise perk in activity, a below-average 2018 Atlantic hurricane season is still forecast.