September 10th marks the climatological peak of the Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season (based on documented tropical cyclones over a 100 year time period). Despite today being the “peak” of the Season there has yet to be a 2013 hurricane in the Atlantic. Currently, Humberto, a strong Tropical Storm west of the Cape Verde Islands, has the best chance of any this Season to make the jump in status, and it’s very possible it will intensify into a hurricane later today. The 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season has been very slow to this point mostly due to large areas of atmospheric sinking motion inhibiting storm development and creating large regions of dry air evaporating many tropical cyclones.
This past week it appears the large-scale sinking motion has subsided over the Atlantic Basin. The atmosphere has responded to the more favorable environment as the Atlantic exploded with activity. For the first time this year two tropical storms, Gabrielle and Humberto, exist simultaneously over the Atlantic.
Tropical Storm Gabrielle will most likely become extratropical soon, merge with a trough over the Northeast, and possibly it’s remnants will impact Nova Scotia or Newfoundland. Tropical Storm Humberto might attain weak hurricane status over the next 24 hours and move into the open Central Atlantic. The tropical wave over the western Caribbean is more interesting; storms have intensified over the past several hours and numerical forecast models are forecasting a centralized area of low pressure to develop. If a low does develop it is forecast to move westward or maybe even northwest over the Yucatan Peninsula and then over the very warm waters of the Bay of Campeche. It’s not out of the realm of possibility this wave may develop into a tropical cyclone over the next several days with a very slim chance of impacting northeast Mexico or South Texas. At this time it’s too early to say whether the United States will be directly impacted by a hurricane this year, but it does appear the 2013 Season is becoming more active.
UPDATE (12pm 9/11/13):
The National Hurricane Center upgraded Humberto to a minimal Category 1 Hurricane at 5 AM AST on September 11, 2013. This makes Humberto the 2nd latest 1st hurricane of the Atlantic Season to form since the beginning of the satellite era.