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  • Writer's pictureMeteorologist Beth Carpenter

First Hurricane of the Season Developing!

It's been an active start to the 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season, with Tropical Storm Alberto developing last week and peaking at a maximum strength of 50mph. It brought significant rainfall and flooding to Texas and Mexico, killing at least four people.

Now, the National Hurricane Center is monitoring three systems in the Tropical Atlantic: newly organized Tropical Depression Two in the central Atlantic, Invest Area 94L in the Caribbean, and a tropical wave in the eastern Atlantic.

Tropical Depression Two

Tropical Depression Two (also referred to as TD2, and formerly Invest Area 95L) was just identified by the National Hurricane Center this afternoon after multiple days of monitoring for organization. TD2 is expected to strengthen into Tropical Storm Beryl later tonight or tomorrow as it pushes westward across the central Atlantic at 17mph. The storm is expected to strengthen over warm waters of the Main Development Region (MDR) this weekend and reach Category 1 Hurricane strength by Sunday afternoon. After crossing into the Caribbean, the storm is expected to reach a maximum intensity of Category 2 Hurricane strength with sustained winds of 105mph- just 6mph shy of Category 3 Major Hurricane strength. Once the storm reaches the Caribbean, its forecast is much less certain. Model data suggests multiple possible tracks for the storm: remaining out to sea, making landfall in the southeast United States, or continuing on into the Gulf of Mexico with potential impacts to the Gulf Coast later next weekend or early the following week. The latest data also suggests a maximum intensity reaches Category 2 to Category 3 strength.

Invest Area 94L

Invest Area 94L (or 94L for short) is currently located in the western Caribbean and has a 40% chance of tropical cyclone development. This will not occur until potentially when the storm re-emerges in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico. Regardless of development, heavy rainfall is expected across Central America from the system.

Eastern Atlantic Tropical Wave

An unorganized tropical wave emerged over the eastern Atlantic late this week and has a 40% chance of tropical cyclone development in the next 7 days. Model data today has given more confidence that the system will organize over the same waters that Tropical Depression Two is currently traversing, and that it will follow a nearly identical path into the Caribbean. Its expected strength is much less certain at this time.

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale

Here is a reminder of the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale used to determine the strength (category) of a hurricane.


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