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Ernesto and Florence, two tropical storms in Atlantic

Posted by David Epstein  August 5, 2012 10:50 AM

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August and September are the two busiest months in the tropics. On average, 61% of all the storms that end up with a name each year, form during these two months. This year, there has already been 4 named storms. Currently, Ernesto and Florence are the two storms being tracked in the Atlantic basin. Ernesto is forecast to end up in the Gulf of Mexico later this week after possibly hitting near the Yucatan Peninsula. Florence is further east and will be nearing some of the Caribbean islands this week and perhaps the east coast of the United States in about 10 days. There is a bit more dry air in the tropics this summer than we usually see and this dry air may inhibit these storms from becoming major hurricanes. I will update the latest advisories and information on Twitter at @growingwisdom

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Hurricane season got off to a busy start and then got quiet for much of July. Now in August things are picking up and we have two named storms to watch. The models the next few days will try to forecast what will be happening in terms of the tracks of these storms. Combined these storms could affect land masses such as parts of the Caribbean, Mexico, the Gulf Coast or even the Atlantic seaboard. Equally likely is that these storms don't become major players in terms of becoming a major storm. The reality is that so far out, much can change.

What these storms need to form is very humid moist air with very little wind at the upper levels of the atmosphere. If dry air gets into the storm or if the winds become very strong the tropical systems rapidly fall apart. Additionally, tropical systems need water so if the storms go over a large islands or the Yucatan Peninsula they often diminish in intensity. For example, Ernesto may hit Mexico and then reemerge in to the Gulf of Mexico later next week. If this happens, storms can reintensify and impact the USA. There are lot of unknowns at this time with both storms but I will be updating frequently. As we all know, a storm hitting the wrong part of the Gulf of Mexico can cause gas prices to sky rocket in a matter of days.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on this blog or any others. Please follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom and check out my latest videos at

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
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About the author

David Epstein has been a professional meteorologist and horticulturalist for three decades. David spent 16 years at WCVB in Boston and currently freelances for WGME in Portland, ME. In 2006, More »
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