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Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 08/12/2008

Tropical Trouble Brewing???

By Jason Samenow

The prognosticators at NOAA and Colorado State University raised projections for tropical storm activity last week, and right on cue, two new disturbances (1 and 2, shown below) may spin into storms in the tropical Atlantic.

Atlantic Tropical Weather Outlook from the National Hurricane Center as of 8 a.m. today. Disturbance 1 (red) has a greater than 50% probability of becoming at least a tropical depresssion, and Disturbance 2 (orange) and 3 (yellow) have 20-50% and less than 20% probabilities, respectively.

Could these disturbances affect the U.S.? Keep reading. For local weather, see our full forecast.

Disturbance 1 (above), in particular, bears watching. Conditions are generally favorable for it to strengthen into a Tropical Depression and then possibly Tropical Storm Fay. If it develops as predicted (forecasting tropical storm development is tricky business), it would most likely take a path which would bring it just north of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic in four days. The Southeast U.S. and particularly Florida will need to monitor this system as it could well head in that general direction next week.

Further east, Disturbance 2, also stands a solid, albeit lesser, chance (20-50%, according to the National Hurricane Center) of developing into a named storm (could it be Gustav?). It's too early to tell if this system will impact the Caribbean islands and be any threat to the mainland. Computer models suggest it will head in a west-northwest direction and still be east of the Caribbean islands in four days.

The timing of the development of these disturbances is no coincidence as we've now entered hurricane season prime time. Fasten your seat belts.

By Jason Samenow  | August 12, 2008; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  Tropical Weather  
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Next: Lightning Flash in Slow Motion


I'm basically in agreement re #1 and #2. It's sort of early to assess future impact on U.S. mainland at this time.

Posted by: El Bombo | August 12, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Been watching that wave #1, now over Puerto Rico/Hispanola. It seems that the consencus is it's going to bomb tomorrow (Sat 8/16) and rapidly intensify into Hurricane Fay. Some of the model tracks indicate S. FLA could be a target, but most models show it going up your way.

So keep a close eyes out folks, and get some batteries, bottled water, and canned food just in case. I'll be doing the same this evening.

Posted by: Tampa Edski | August 15, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Every one needs to prepare for disasters especially in South Florida. With the FAA putting 4 vital radar systems all in South Florida only 1.5 nm from the back up system we are doomed. When asking the FAA what their contingency plans are for South Florida below you will fine the answer.

As not to confused anyone I recommend that you go to , look at the presentation, on the first page, How Do We Get From The East Coast To The West Coast When We Fly? It is a short explanation of how things work.

This is the FAA answer and I quote;

“South Florida Disaster recovery plan is “The Miami ARTCC contingency plan activates a process allowing Jacksonville ARTCC to modify their airspace boundary to provide air traffic services to the southern most Florida TRACON facilities, which include Fort Meyers, Miami and the Key West Approach Control. In the unlikely event that both Miami ARTCC and TRACON were out of service, Jacksonville ARTCC will provide radar coverage to the South Florida area. This contingency plan outlines the administrative and operational responsibilities of each supporting ARTCC and TRACON in the event of a major facility/system outage or prolonged interruption to ATC services.”

On May 13, 2008 at a public meeting in West Palm Beach, I had a chance to ask Rick Ducharme Deputy Vice President of Terminal Services a few questions.

If Jacksonville ARTCC assumes the Miami airspace, Who will assume Jacksonville’s airspace? He had no answer.

Do you have the extra equipment, frequencies, trained and certified personnel to assume the Miami airspace? He had no answer.

Has any ARTCC in the history of the FAA, EVER assumed another ARTCC’s airspace? Rick Ducharme paused, then answered NO.

I am afraid we are all on our own and not as lucky as New Orleans. You see New Orleans had their backup center in Houston which is a lot farther than 1.5 nm from New Orleans.

We should not count on any help from air flights, if our area is declared a disaster area. Good luck through out the hurricane season and let’s hope we don’t get hit with the big one.

Posted by: faahope | August 17, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

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