The tropics are busy with four areas the National Hurricane Center is tracking and a new tropical storm.
Tropical Storm Jerry formed early Wednesday morning east of the Lesser Antilles as a supercharged Atlantic spins up multiple systems.
Jerry, which is the tenth named storm of the year, is forecast to curve away from the U.S. and the Bahamas as it tracks north of Puerto Rico. As of the 5 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Jerry was 960 miles east of the Leeward Islands moving west-northwest at 13 mph with 45 mph winds.
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Imelda, which formed briefly Tuesday as a tropical storm before making landfall in Texas, has been downgraded to a tropical depression.
And two new areas, one just over the coast of Africa and another area just east of the Windward Islands have both been given a 20 percent chance of development over five days.
“The tropics are getting very active today,” said National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham, in a quickly assembled Facebook Live video just after Imelda made landfall near Freeport, Texas at about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. “We are watching several areas spin up, really looking at some development and watching it come alive.”
The center also identified Tropical Depression Ten, which became Tropical Storm Jerry early Wednesday, about 1,030 miles east of the Leeward Islands with expectations it will become a Category 1 hurricane later in the week as it nears St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda.
As the multi-tasking atmosphere juggled the new systems Tuesday, it continued to strengthen Hurricane Humberto, which was about 240 miles west of Bermuda at 5 a.m. Wednesday with 115-mph winds. Tropical storm-force winds stretched 175 miles from its center with hurricane-force winds reaching out 60 miles.
A hurricane warning is in effect for Bermuda.
While hurricane season begins to peak around Aug. 20, the climatological date is Sept. 10.
Before Chantal formed Aug. 20, there was Subtropical Storm Andrea in May and weak Hurricane Barry in July. Since Chantal, seven named storms, including devastating Category 5 Dorian have formed.
“It felt like the season started slow, but usually through mid-August the average is about three storms,” said Accuweather meteorologist John Feerick. “This is when it usually really gets going and it’s just really picking up.”
Feerick said Imelda was just a pulsing upper-level low that finally managed to get its thunderstorms organized so that the surface pressure dropped and a circulation developed.
“It literally formed 15 to 20 miles offshore,” Graham said.
Palm Beach County was issued a high surf advisory Tuesday that lasts through Saturday as Humberto sends seas 10 feet or higher toward the coast. Winds turning north then northeast later in the week with sustained speeds of up to 20 mph means there is also a high rip current risk.
“Obviously we want to highlight all of this east coast surf and the dangers,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Tony Reynes. “If you don’t know what you are doing, you can get into trouble very easily.”
Forecasters are not expecting Imelda to dump the 5 feet of rain that Hurricane Harvey did in 2017, but flash flood warnings are in effect for southeast Texas and extreme southwest Louisiana.
As much as 18 inches of rain could fall across portions of eastern Texas, including the Houston and Galveston areas.