While the season's first hurricane makes landfall in South Texas this weekend, a new tropical wave in the Central Atlantic could be one South Carolinians need to watch.
The area of interest, referred to by meteorologists as Invest 92, was located several hundred miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands Saturday evening. In his 8 pm update, National Hurricane Center Branch Chief Michael Brennan said conditions appear "conducive for development" in the coming days and a tropical depression or storm was "likely to form" early next week.
Long range forecast data has begun to suggest Invest 92 has the potential to intensify into a formidable tropical storm or hurricane as it moves westward across the Tropical Atlantic later in the week. Early indications are pointing to a potential threat from Invest 92 to the Lesser Antilles and/or northern Caribbean in about 5 to 7 days. While it is far too soon to make a credible prediction on where Invest 92 might track, much less how strong it may become, all residents in hurricane prone areas from the Caribbean to the Southeast U.S. are encouraged to stay informed on the progress of this potential storm.
Elsewhere in an unusually busy Atlantic Tropical Atlantic Basin, Hurricane Hanna made landfall in South Texas Saturday as a category 1 storm with winds up to 90 mph. Hanna was the season's first hurricane and the earliest "H" storm to form in the calendar year on record.
The first hurricane of the year normally occurs on or around August 10, according to records collected by the National Hurricane Center. The average formation date of the eighth tropical storm of the year is Sept. 24.
In the eastern Caribbean Saturday, Tropical Storm Gonzalo was no match for strong upper-level winds and degenerated into a tropical wave. However, gusty winds and heavy rain squalls were still expected to affect the southern islands of the Windward Island chain and northern sections of Venezuela through Sunday.