Original Post:

The Atlantic storms are getting interesting.

Two different systems are poised to become named storms, but it is not clear which one will be awarded the name Hermine, and which one Ian. If the storm recently near Cuba develops as expected, it could become a weak hurricane before making landfall along Florida’s Gulf coast. This will not likely be a very impressive hurricane, but it will be big and wet, and the area is already experiencing too much water. Flooding will ensue.

A third system is moving off of Africa, with 40% chance of forming into a storm over the next several days. This system looks really promising for a hurricane.

Hurricane Gaston is still hanging out in the middle of nowhere, but it will likely menace the Azores.

Update (Wednesday AM):

Gaston is at present a Major Hurricane, and will continue heading east, weakening to a tropical storm before arriving in the Azores.

There are three other systems of interest. The Cuban storminess that has been on everyone’s mind for a while refuses to get organized into a namable storm. Another, in the Atlantic, is also developing slowly. Both disturbances are likely to become sufficiently organized and strong to become named tropical storms, and that is likely to happen before sunset today. Which one will get organized first to claim the name of Hermine? Which one will become Ian? Neither is likely to spin up to hurricane strength.

The more southerly of the two storms, in the area of Cuba, is likely to sweep across the base of the Florida Peninsula and cause a mess (but as a tropical storm, not a hurricane). the other is likely to stay out to sea, in the Atlantic.

Meanwhile, the disturbance off the African Coast (to the right of the map) retains a certain amount of ambiguity as dry air reduces its chances of formation. But, it will reveal its will over the next several days as it moves west. We will see.

It is possible that we could see four names storms churning away simultaneously in the Atlantic. That is probably not a record, but it could be. My impression is that this happens now and then. Do you know? There have been as many as 8 storms formed in a given month (but not necessarily extant at the same time) a few times. So, four at the same time may be highly unusual.

ADDED:

OK, I found this about simultaneous storms:

Four hurricanes have existed simultaneously twice: August 22, 1893 and September 25-27, 1998 with Georges, Ivan, Jeanne and Karl as hurricanes. In 1971 there were 5 tropical cyclones simultaneously, but only 2 were hurricanes. [source]

Note, that refers to hurricanes, not named storms. So it is not an answer to the question.

Update (Wed PM):

Hermine exists and is expected to strengthen over the next two days or so, but not to full hurricane strength, before hitting florida near the base of the peninsula. After that, it will come out the other side, and hug the coast until at least North Carolina. Then it will go off to sea.

The second disturbance in the Atlantic will turn into a named storm, perhaps within a day or two, and Gaston will still be a named storm, so there will be three named storms at the same time. Gaston will be on or near the Azores by the end of the day Friday. The fourth stormy event, off the coast of Africa, is looking less likely to turn into a named storm any time soon.

“The 2nd of February in Paris will be remembered as the day that the question mark was removed from the idea that humans had anything to do with climate change,” says Achim Steiner, quoted here.

It is not really true. Groups of scientists have been saying this for quite some time. I wonder what George Bush will say next?

But even before this scientific panel’s report was finished, last night (I’ll post a picture later), my daughter, Julia presented her “Achievement Fair” ( = science fair) project on Global Warming and it’s effects in the polar region, entitled “Global Warming … breaking the ice.”

To my knowledge it was the first Achievement Fair entry at her school that explicitly called for the impeachment of the President of the United States … under the list of “Things to do” (along with other items such as use compact fluorescent bulbs, car pool, etc.). Continue reading