Tropical Threat: Historic Flooding Continues over Texas, Jerry Strengthens in the Atlantic, Lorena Threatens Baja California
The tropics have become very active this week, with seven new cyclones forming across the Northern Hemisphere. Hurricanes Humberto and Jerry are churning in the open waters of the Atlantic as the remnants of Imelda continue to produce heavy rainfall over southern Texas. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Kiko continues its journey across the Eastern Pacific as Lorena and Mario threaten Baja California. In the Western Pacific, newly-formed Tropical Storm Tapah is expected to impact Japan and the Korean Peninsula this weekend.
North Atlantic Ocean
Hurricane Humberto continues to move further away from Bermuda and is undergoing transition into an extratropical cyclone. As of the most recent advisory from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) at 5:00 PM EDT (21:00 UTC) September 19, Hurricane Humberto is located near 38.5°N, 58.7°W, about 550 mi (885 km) northeast of Bermuda. Maximum sustained winds are near 105 mph (165 km/h), with gusts of up to 125 mph (205 km/h), and the minimum central pressure is 960 mb (28.35 inches). Humberto is moving toward the north-northwest at 24 mph (39 km/h), and Humberto is forecast to turn to the north-northeast by Friday night. Humberto is a very large hurricane, with hurricane-force winds extending 80 miles (130 km) and tropical storm-force winds extending 380 miles (610 km) from the center. Humberto is forecast to become a powerful extratropical cyclone soon as it continues northeastward. Swells from Humberto will continue to impact Bermuda, Atlantic Canada, and the East Coast of the United States through the weekend before finally subsiding by Monday.
Hurricane Jerry has strengthened today and is now a Category 2 hurricane as it continues to move northwestward toward the Leeward Islands. As of 5:00 PM EDT (21:00 UTC) September 19, the eye of Jerry was located near 18.0°N, 57.2°W, about 385 mi (625 km) east of the northern Leeward Islands. Maximum sustained winds are near 105 mph (165 km/h), with gusts of up to 125 mph (205 km/h), and the minimum central pressure is 976 mb (28.82 inches). Jerry is moving toward the west-northwest at 16 mph (26 km/h), and this motion is expected to continue over the next few days. Jerry will be passing north of the northern Leeward Islands on Friday, and by Monday is forecast to turn northeastward, passing close to Bermuda Tuesday morning. Although powerful, Jerry is a small hurricane; hurricane-force winds only extend 25 miles (35 km) from the center and tropical storm-force winds extend 80 miles (130 km) from the center. Little to no further strengthening is forecast as environmental conditions are forecast to become less favorable for intensification over the weekend. However, Jerry is forecast to remain a hurricane through Tuesday and is likely to produce large swells across portions of the Leeward Islands and Greater Antilles. Tropical storm watches are in effect for St. Marteen, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, , and Saba and St. Eustatius. Tropical storm conditions are possible in this area on Friday, and Jerry could produce heavy rainfall amounts of 1 to 3 inches, with isolated amounts of 4 to 6 inches, across portions of the northern Leeward Islands. This rainfall may produce life-threatening flash floods. Jerry is forecast to produce total rainfall accumulations of 1 to 2 inches with maximum amounts of 3 inches across the the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Please refer to your local meteorological service and the National Hurricane Center for the latest information on Hurricane Jerry and its possible impact in the northern Leeward Islands.
Finally, the remnants of former Tropical Storm Imelda continue to produce extreme and potentially record-breaking rainfall across a large area in southeastern Texas. Imelda has produced total rainfall amounts exceeding 20 inches in many locations. Although the Weather Prediction Center (WPC) has issued their final advisory on Imelda, additional rainfall amounts of 3 to 5 inches are expected across eastern Texas, and additional rainfall amounts of 1 to 3 inches are expected across portions of western Louisiana. Additionally, isolated tornadoes are possible over parts of the middle and upper Texas Coast. Please refer to products and advisories issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) for the latest information on the heavy rainfall and flood threat associated with the remnants of Imelda.