As of noon today, Tropical Storm Franklin was drifting in the Caribbean Sea and expected to strengthen before reaching Hispaniola.

Forecasters are predicting “significant and potentially life-threatening flash flooding” over the island through Wednesday.

They are also predicting that Franklin will be a strong tropical storm on Saturday and become a hurricane on Sunday with 80 mph winds, making it a Category 1 storm.

According to the latest advisory issued by the Bermuda Weather Service at noon today, the closest point of approach to Bermuda within 72 hrs (3 days) is forecast to be 546 nm to the S, by 12pm Friday, Aug 25.

They also say this system may move closer to Bermuda after this time period depending upon its track.

Current Position:15.5N 71.1W approx. 1065 nm SSW of Bermuda
Recent Movement:NW or 325 degrees at 6 kt
Central Pressure:1002 mb / 29.58 in
Max Winds:45kt gusts 55kt

At last check Franklin was packing maximum sustained winds near 50 mph, with higher gusts.

Winds are forecast to reach 70 mph by Saturday and 80 mph by Sunday.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1002 mb.

Franklin is expected to bring 1-3 inches of rain to Puerto Rico and Vieques into Thursday, with some locations getting up to 6 inches. Across portions of Hispaniola, rainfall amounts of 5 to 10 inches, with isolated higher amounts up to 15 inches, are expected through Wednesday.

Meanwhile the remnants of TS Gert weakened into a tropical depression early Tuesday and became a post-tropical cyclone by 11am.

And what was TS Emily may restrengthen as it moves north in the Atlantic.

Forecasters were also watching another disturbance west of Cabo Verde, which has a medium chance of becoming a tropical depression later this week.

The next named storms of the Atlantic hurricane season will be Idalia and Jose.

Above-normal hurricane activity’ expected last half of August


Colorado State University forecasters are predicting above-normal hurricane activity over the next two weeks, according to their latest two-week forecast issued August 17.

The last half of August “typically marks the real ramp-up for Atlantic TC (tropical cyclone) activity. The primary threat formation area for major hurricanes in late August is in the eastern and central tropical Atlantic,” CSU said.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30.

We are now heading into the peak of the season’s ultimate peak, which is September 10, with the most activity between mid-August and mid-October, according to the Hurricane Center.

Earlier this week, Minister of National Security, Michael Weeks urged residents to

“Preparedness is key to safeguarding our families and our island. As we rapidly approach what is historically the most active part of hurricane season for Bermuda, now is the time for proper planning and preparation by everyone to ensure our homes are secure, our supplies are stocked, and we are attentive to the EMO’s guidance,” said Mr Weeks.

Residents were also urged to inventory hurricane supplies, secure loose items and trim trees, and pay attention to announcements by the Emergency Measures Organisation when storms approach the island.