Following Five in the tropics

Five in focus?   Yes, that’s now how many areas are being monitored across the tropics.  Three of these are currently classified (Florence, Isaac, and Helene).   Additional activity could come yet this week if there’s strengthening of a wave in the southern Gulf or possible development over the north central Atlantic.   The National Hurricane Center is extremely busy as we head into the middle of September!    Florence is getting most of the headlines, these days (and rightfully so).   It’s a major hurricane barreling toward the coastal areas of South and North Carolina.    The system remains very large, increasing in size on Tuesday.   Also, it’s very strong with increased winds of 140 miles per hour.   It does have the potential to slow down as it approaches land from Thursday through Friday.    After landfall, then, the concern will even continue as inland flooding may bring a serious risk to a large area, depending on the eventual track.   Florence will eventually and slowly weaken over land this weekend.   Having said that, continued energy may “feed off the rain” and keep soaking the region.   Tropical Storm Isaac will also be a threat, but this one is taking a southern path and heading toward the Caribbean.   Later this week, the system could bring a swift spell of wind and rain to the eastern islands in the Caribbean.   It’s not expected to intensify.   Finally, Hurricane Helene remains isolated far from any land areas over the northeastern Atlantic Ocean.   Helene is turning northward into the cooler waters so it will only be an issue for the shipping lanes.   Since we’re now at the height of hurricane season it’s important to stay focused and have plans ready, should any tropical activity threaten.   We’ll continue to keep you informed on all potential developments, too.