Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Tropics Are Restless

Early Monday morning featured three named tropical systems.

1)  Tropical Storm Claudette -- formed early Sunday morning and made landfall around 2 am EDT today in the Florida Panhandle.  Claudette will continue to weaken over the next 24 hours.

2)  Tropical Depression Ana -- formed late last week in the eastern Atlantic.  It has been in a weakened state the last few days.  It should remain a weak system as it tracks from the eastern Caribbean into the eastern Gulf of Mexico.  Latest forecast models suggest a landfall later this week near Florida.

3)  Hurricane Bill -- formed Saturday morning and became a hurricane at 5 am today.  Bill will track to the west and northwest, possibly affecting the eastern USA or Bermuda by the weekend or early next week.

You can track tropical systems with the WTOL Hurricane Tracker HERE.

The website for the National Hurricane Center can be found HERE.

The storms were named in the order they formed -- so that is why the storm affecting the southeast is named with a C.

The names for tropical systems are from 6 lists that cycle over the years.  When a large storm creates damage (Andrew, Katrina), the name is retired and replaced.  

The names alternate male & female during the season, as well as season to season (ie, 2010 season will feature the A storm being male, Alex).   There are different sets of names for the Pacific.  You can see the list of names HERE.

Tropical storms and hurricanes are called cyclones when they occur west of the international dateline (Indian Ocean and western Pacific).