Tropical Trouble: “Erin” forms in eastern Atlantic; Heat wave builds next week

Watching The Tropics

It’s been a fairly quiet Atlantic hurricane season so far. We’ve mustered 4 named storms already…but nothing of note in recent weeks.

That may be about to change.

Tropical Storm Erin formed overnight in the eastern Atlantic near the Cape Verde Islands. Another disturbance moving into the Gulf of Mexico has a 50% chance of becoming “Ferdinand” according to NOAA’s National Hurricane Center.

Closer to home, our winning weather streak continues. A late summer heat surge still looks likely by next week — just in time for the State Fair. How long will the warmer than average temps hold?

It could be worse. Japan set the all time record for hottest temperature ever recorded this week at 41C. That’s 105.8F for Americans. And China appears to be ground zero for extreme weather this year, with 5 “billion dollar weather disasters” so far.

We can count our blessings for our blissfully pleasant Minnesota weather.

Another blissful August sailing day at the Minnetonka Yacht Club. Image: Paul Huttner MPR News

Tropics Watch: Tracking Erin and Ferdinand?

After a relatively quiet stretch, the tropical Atlantic may be about ready to explode with the next wave of tropical storms and hurricanes. Two separate disturbances show promise for development — and both could eventually threaten the United States.

Image: NOAA NHC

Model guidance is still unclear on the eventual path…and strength this tropical low. The best bet is for heavy rainfall somewhere along the Gulf Coast in the next few days.

Image: NOAA Weather Prediction Center

Introducing: Tropical Storm Erin

Far across the tropical Atlantic, a strong wave spinning off the African Coast has developed into Erin…the 5th named storm this season.

Image: NOAA NHC

Model vary, but most track Erin westward…and it could be in a position to bear close watching in the eastern United States by next week.

Image: NOAA

Both systems are feeding off warmer than average SST’s in the tropical Atlantic. That’s one reason NOAA is still calling for an active Atlantic hurricane season in its latest update.

Image: NOAA data via Weather Underground

“Minnesota Nice” for now, heat wave ahead?

Our run of nearly idea weather for many will gradually give way to increasing heat and humidity the next 7-14 days. Jet stream patterns that have favored cool weather so far in August are changing.

Image: NOAA GFS Model

A warmer southwest flow aloft develops this weekend, .and a string of days at or above 90 is looking more likely next week. What may be even more important to how we feel is the prospects for tropical dew points in the 70s, which could make things downright steamy and sweaty for the first week of the Minnesota State Fair.

Image: NOAA GFS model vis IPS Meteostar

Enjoy our pleasantly cool weather the next few days. The heat is on next week!