LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- We are in the midst of the Atlantic hurricane season but normally we don’t see an increase in the amount of activity until mid-August and into September but we are seeing a good bit right now.
As of July 24th, we have two named storms and one area of organization off the coast of Africa that is being watched for tropical formation.
Tropical Storm Gonzalo which formed earlier this week is the earliest 7th named storm for the Atlantic basin. Right now, it is tracking westward and will be approaching the Lesser Antilles on Saturday. Data is suggesting that is could strengthen to a Category 1 hurricane on Saturday as well. Afterward, it will continue moving west over the Caribbean Sea and is forecast to weaken. Beyond next Monday, it is tough to say how the track will play out. It is not out of the question that Gonzalo could impact the U.S. but it is impossible to determine that with any decent confidence at this time. It is certainly worth watching.
A little closer to home, we have Tropical Storm Hanna in the Gulf of Mexico. It became the 8th earliest named storm for the Atlantic basin. There is high confidence that Hanna will track west towards the southern Texas coastline and make landfall sometime Saturday afternoon. Strengthening to hurricane status is not expected. Regardless, rainfall amounts (4-7 inches) for southern Texas could translate to some flash flooding.
Just off the coast of Africa, we are watching an area of storms closely that are beginning to weakly organize. The National Hurricane Center gives this area a 30% chance of tropical formation in five days.