Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Weather Underground

Tropical Storm Emily is forecast to strengthen today as it approaches the Dominican Republic.
Emily is about 245 miles (394 kilometers) southeast of San Juan,Puerto Rico, traveling west at 16 miles per hour, according to an advisory issued by the U.S. National Hurricane Center at 5 a.m. in Miami. Tropical storm-force winds extend 70 miles from the core.
The storm has maximum sustained winds at near 40 miles per hour and its center will move across the northeastern Caribbean Sea today and approach the island of Hispaniola as early as tonight, according to the NHC. Data on Weather Underground Inc.’s website show Emily is projected to head toward Cuba, the Bahamas and possibly Florida.
“It could be impacting the Florida peninsula this weekend,” said Andy Mussoline, a meteorologist with AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania. Florida is the world’s second-largest producer of oranges, behind Brazil.
A storm is named when its maximum winds reach 39 miles per hour, the threshold for it to be classified as a tropical storm.
Tropical storm warnings were issued for Puerto Rico and the islands of Guadeloupe, Desirade, Les Saintes and Marie Galante, Vieques and Culebra and the Dominican Republic.
Tropical storm watches were issued for the U.S. Virgin Islands, Haiti and the islands of St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat and Antigua.
Category 1 Possible“Tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch area in the Leeward Islands over the next few hours, in the U.S. Virgin Islands later this morning and in Haiti by Wednesday,” the center said. Mussoline said the system may grow into at least a Category 1 hurricane, with winds of at least 74 mph on the five-step Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
A Category 1 storm, the weakest type of hurricane, can shatter windows, tear off roofs and destroy older mobile homes, according to the hurricane center.
“As evidenced by the amount of time it took this system to consolidate around a single center, the environment is only marginally favorable for strengthening in the short term,” the hurricane center said in an earlier advisory.
In the eastern Pacific Ocean, Tropical Storm Eugene grew into a Category 1 hurricane with maximum winds of 90 mph, according to the center. Eugene is forecast to take a track moving to the west-northwest, which will keep it away from land for the rest of the week.
Eugene, the fifth hurricane to form in the eastern Pacific this year, is 445 miles southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, according to the center.
An area of disturbed weather has also formed near the Gulf of Tehuantepec that has a 20 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next two days, the center said in a tropical weather outlook.