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    Named tropical systems line up right on cue

    “This is certainly not unusual,” said Dennis Feltgen, public affairs officer at the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

    “We typically see a flare-up in June followed by a bit of a lull in July. Large amounts of Saharan dust were a factor. But we are now in mid-August, when water temperatures have warmed across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and there’s a parade of disturbances rolling off the coast of Africa every three to four days,” said Feltgen.

    As the parade lines up, Fred is first in line. A storm that has struggled to survive, Fred is trying to breathe new life in the ninth inning.

    “The radar presentation shows that Fred is much more organized this morning and certainly in this warm Gulf water, it will still intensify before landfall,” said CNN meteorologist Chad Myers. “Hurricane-force winds tonight are a very real possibility. Prepare for a stronger than expected storm.”

    Tropical Storm Fred will make landfall along the Florida Panhandle on Monday, bringing with it up to a foot of rain, gusty winds, tornadoes and storm surge.

    Fred will be quickly followed by Tropical Depression Grace and Tropical Depression Eight as the tropics heat up, just before the peak of hurricane season.

    “How strong the storms become and where they travel is dependent on the environment that surrounds them,” said Feltgen. “A mix of competing oceanic and atmospheric conditions generally favor above-average activity for the remainder of the Atlantic hurricane season, including the potential return of La Nina in the months ahead.”
    La Nina typically means a more active season for the Atlantic basin, and forecasters are expecting a return of La Nina this fall, if not sooner.

    Another factor is warm ocean water. “We are approaching the warmest water temperatures for the season, plus the northern Gulf of Mexico is two to three degrees above what is normal for right now. Any storm in these warm waters can intensify quickly,” said Myers.

    All of these factors are pointing toward an active season. “We’re coming off the record-breaking 2020 season, when almost every mile of the US Gulf Coast and US East Coast was under a watch or warning sometime during that season,” said Feltgen.

    With more than half of the 2021 hurricane season ahead, people are urged not to become complacent.

    The latest on Fred, Grace and Tropical Depression 8

    Fred has gotten most of the tropical attention this week, but we can’t lose sight of Grace, which is right on its heels and has the potential to be a stronger storm.

    MORE ON FRED

    Most of the models are forecasting Grace to take a more southerly track, across earthquake-ravaged Hispaniola, stay south of Cuba and cross the Yucatan Peninsula.

    Once Grace emerges back into the southern Gulf of Mexico, there could be additional strengthening.

    Most models are taking this storm into south Texas or Mexico by the weekend.

    “The evolution of the forecast track of Grace is having major implications on the future intensity of the cyclone,” said the NHC.

    With Grace potentially staying south of Cuba, that could lead to additional strengthening; however, the uncertainty remains somewhat high on how strong Grace will be.

    MORE ON GRACE POTENTIAL TRACK

    The third system to watch is Tropical Depression Eight, which could become Henri later Monday. This storm is expected to stay out to sea.

    Grace’s impact on towns devastated by earthquake

    A home destroyed by Saturday's 7.2 earthquake that struck Haiti.A home destroyed by Saturday's 7.2 earthquake that struck Haiti.
    Search and rescue efforts in Haiti are up against the clock, as Tropical Depression Grace will cross over the devastated region on Monday.

    Conditions will deteriorate through the day, with very heavy rain being the main threat to Haiti.

    Grace currently has winds of 35 mph, with stronger gusts. The storm should slowly begin to strengthen by Tuesday, and possibly regain tropical storm strength.

    “Over Haiti and the Dominican Republic, 5 to 10 inches of rain with isolated maximum totals of 15 inches are expected across the southern terrain areas through Tuesday. This heavy rainfall may lead to flash and urban flooding, and possible mudslides,” said the NHC.

    This could have a huge impact on the search and rescue efforts going on right now in Haiti after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake shook the region. About 1,300 people are dead, and more than 5,700 injured.

    MORE:

    July was the hottest month ever recorded

    The global temperature in July was the highest for any July in the 142 years of records, according to data released from the National Centers for Environmental Information.

    Since July is normally the hottest month of the year for the globe, this resulted in last month being the hottest month out of about 1,700 months since 1880.

    “In this case, first place is the worst place to be,” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chief Rick Spinrad said. “July is typically the world’s warmest month of the year, but July 2021 outdid itself as the hottest July and month ever recorded.

    This new record adds to the disturbing and disruptive path that climate change has set for the globe.

    All of this is only making drought and fire conditions worse in the west. Currently, 98% of the West is in drought, with 64% in extreme or exceptional.

    “Fires in the western half of the contiguous states (including Colorado and Wyoming) have burned, on average, 30 square miles of total area every day since early June — an area approaching half the size of Washington, DC,” said NOAA.

    Before/after photos show town burned to ash

    These before-and-after photos show the town of Greenville, California, before the Dixie Fire and after.

    Most of the town was destroyed as the wildfire raged through on August 4.

    Read more about the Dixie Fire:

    Weather in focus

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    Turkey has also been battling relentless wildfires amid record-breaking heat.

    You’ve made it this far, so let’s switch gears. Enjoy this cool read…

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