Hurricane Fred forms in the Atlantic, expected to weaken

31 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Fred is easternmost hurricane to form in tropics of Atlantic, 1st to cross Cape Verde Islands.

MIAMI — Weather forecasters say Hurricane Fred is easternmost hurricane known to have formed in the Atlantic tropics, and the first to actually pass over the Cape Verde Islands as a hurricane Hurricane Fred is centered about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north-northeast of Ribeira Brava in the Cape Verde Islands and is moving northwest near 12 mph (19 kph). A hurricane warning is in effect for the islands, where Fred is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 4 to 6 inches, with possible isolated maximum amounts of 10 inches.

Looking back through the annals, just 11 hurricanes formed east of 30 degrees west, and of those, 10 were in the deep tropics (classic “Cape Verde” hurricane formations). Although environmental conditions favor Fred to strengthen on Monday, a combination of factors will weaken the hurricane over the next few days, including drier air, cooler water temperatures and increasing wind shear, which acts to tear tropical cyclones apart. Hurricane Fred formed from what we call an African easterly wave — an area of low pressure that moves west off the coast of Africa in the trade winds that can serve as the seed for hurricane formation. Interestingly, for easterly waves to make the long journey across the Atlantic Ocean and become a threat to land, they must remain relatively weak at first to avoid getting steered northward through weaknesses in the vast area of high pressure that tends to dominate the Atlantic in the summer.

While those dates look somewhat “average,” the short duration of those storms means that the total activity for the season is still well below average for this date at just around 58 percent — typical for a strong El Niño, which tends to decrease hurricane activity in the North Atlantic.

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