Not anticipating dramatic strengthening of Fred through Friday while near the Islands of the northern Caribbean, could intensify once in eastern Gulf
NEW ORLEANS — With the Hurricane Hunters finding winds supportive of a closed low-level circulation, the NHC has declared Tropical Storm Fred to have formed just south of Puerto Rico.
The National Hurricane Center’s forecast cone shows it staying a low-end tropical storm through Friday. It looks like the system will encounter some dry air and some interact with land, so it may stay on the weaker side as it passes near the islands in the Greater Antilles. Once in the eastern Gulf this weekend, warm sea surface temperatures and waning wind shear could allow the storm to intensify, possibly to a hurricane. At this time, the NHC stays on the lower end of the intensity forecast by Sunday, but that will likely change.
We’ll keep watching it as it nudges west/northwest, guided by a high pressure area to its north, but at this time long range models show it curving north around Florida or in the extreme eastern Gulf and then strengthening again.
With developing systems this far out, there is always lots of uncertainty, but for now, there are no imminent threats to our part of the Gulf Coast.
Of course we’ll watch closely as activity picks up this month, and we will keep you updated.
2021 Hurricane Season Outlook
The 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season is forecast to produce more storms than average. The reason for this is the lack of El Nino, which typically features more wind shear. We also expect warmer than average sea temperatures and an active West African Monsoon.
After a record-breaking 2020 hurricane season, we now know the Greek alphabet will no longer be used to name storms.
The World Meteorological Organization announced the Greek alphabet will not be used in the future because it “creates a distraction from the communication of hazard and storm warnings and is potentially confusing.”
There has been only one other season that used the extra set of names, and that was in 2005. The World Meteorological Organization released a new set of supplemental names that will be used if the season exhausts the standard list.