Hurricane

Two more waves crossing Atlantic as Hurricane Gert heads offshore

Hurricane forecasters are tracking two more waves crossing the Atlantic as Hurricane Gert begins turning east and heads out to sea.

In their Tuesday evening advisory, National Hurricane Center forecasters said the hurricane was headed northeast at about 12 mph and is expected to speed up over the next couple of days. Gert became a hurricane late Monday and marks the season’s second as the Atlantic enters what has historically been its peak for churning out hurricanes.

Far across the Atlantic, forecasters are watching two other waves making their way west.

About 1,000 miles east of the Antilles, a stretched out low pressure system packing showers and thunderstorms and heading west between 15 and 20 mph is expected to reach the Caribbean by Friday. The system could strengthen into a tropical depression as it crosses warm tropical waters. Because it is so long, models are having difficulty positioning a potential eye and complicating forecasts.

2 pm 0815 tracks
National Hurricane Center

But hurricane center forecasters said unfavorable conditions are likely to weaken the wave once it enters the Caribbean Sea.

A second wave off the west coast of Africa and also moving between 15 and 20 mph could also gather strength as it moves west. Tuesday afternoon, forecasters gave both waves a 40 percent chance of forming over the next five days.

Gert’s sustained winds remained at 80 mph, but could speed up slightly as the storm intensifies before it begins to weaken Thursday, forecasters said. Hurricane force winds extended 25 miles from the compact storm while tropical winds reached 115 miles.

Over the next couple of days, swells from the storm may produce dangerous rip currents and surf from North Carolina to Long Island as well as Bermuda, forecasters warned.

5 pm 0815 gert
National Hurricane Center

National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration forecasters said the Atlantic Ocean's 2017 hurricane season will likely be above normal, with 11 to 17 named storms, five to nine hurricanes and two to four major storms.

Follow Jenny Staletovich @jenstaletovich

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