Sunday, July 17, 2011

"Tropical Depression Two" Forms Just East of Florida

The system we've been monitoring about 120 miles East/Southeast of Cape Canaveral, FL has been upgraded to Tropical Depression Two as of 3:30 PM CDT.  This system is drifting very slowly Southward at present.

A Hurricane Hunter aircraft flew through the system during the last 2 hours, and found widespread winds up to 38 mph (which is required for a Tropical Depression).  It also found a few spots with winds of 39-40 mph (which is technically Tropical Storm force).  Click to enlarge the image below, which shows the wind speeds as measured by the aircraft in the square boxes:

The system is currently forecast to wobble near its current position or drift very slowly Southward over the next several hours, then start turning toward the North to North/Northeast on Monday:

With winds already borderline Tropical Storm force, I would expect the system to be named Tropical Storm Bret sometime within the next 12 hours.

At present, this system does not appear to be a major threat to the U.S. (other than increased surf and showers/thunderstorms across parts of Florida), however if you live along the coast from Florida to the Carolinas, keep a casual eye on this system over the next 24-36 hours just in case any drastic change in track and/or intensity were to take place.

Maybe this would be a good time to dust-off those Tropical Weather Safety Tips and make sure that your Severe Weather Preparedness Kit is in good order just in case.  Even though you're not likely to need them now, the refresher could do you good for later in the season if a greater threat develops for your area.

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