The Tropics Remain Very Active
This busy week in the tropics continues as forecasters with the National Hurricane Center have officially said goodbye to Hurricane Gert and are now focusing their attention on Tropical Storm Harvey.
Harvey developed out of a strong tropical wave that has been consistently gaining strength as it moved westward across the Atlantic over the course of this week. As of early this morning, the center of Harvey was about 95 miles east of Barbados. The maximum sustained winds with the storm were 40 mph.
The storm was moving west at 17 mph. The official forecast track should take Harvey into the Caribbean during the day today and closer to the coast of Central America. A landfall in Guatemala or Honduras appears likely by early next week.
Another strong tropical wave about 800 miles east of Harvey could become a tropical depression or even Tropical Storm Irma later today or over the weekend. Forecasters give this system a 70% probability of becoming a tropical cyclone.
Tropical forecast models suggest the path of this storm will be in a more northwesterly direction. This could put the Bahamas and Florida under the gun by the middle of next week. However, a shift in the forecast track to the west could put this system into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico too. That's why it bears watching.
A third system, another tropical wave, even closer to the African Continent continues to show signs of strengthening. However, forecasters don't anticipate this system getting stronger rapidly and the projected forecast path does keep this system out at sea.