Double trouble in the tropics; no trouble at home just yet

Gonzalo is moving into the Caribbean, while Hanna will make landfall in south Texas this weekend.

Gonzalo and Hanna current tropical storms in the Atlantic basin

ROANOKE, Va. – The earliest 8th-named storm on record developed Thursday evening. While some are quick to compare this to the historic 2005 hurricane season, it’s important to note that (so far) storms this season haven’t been as strong. We’ve yet to reach the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, though.

Hanna is a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico that will make landfall this weekend south of Houston, Texas.

Tropical storm Hanna to make a weekend landfall well south of Houston

Currently, there isn’t much standing in the way of the storm, so it has time to strengthen before interacting with land. Satellite imagery Friday morning showed storms exploding around the center of the storm, which is usually an indication of strengthening. This storm will have no direct impact on our weather in southwest and central Virginia.

Farther offshore, we have Gonzalo. The National Hurricane Center is forecasting this to become the first hurricane of the season, but its path is not quite as easy as Hanna’s.

Gonzalo moves into the Caribbean over the next 2 to 5 days

It may have to battle with some drier air on its way to the Caribbean. It’s too far out to speculate as to whether or not this storm will impact our weather locally.

August and September are usually the peak for tropical activity, so this may only be the beginning for the Atlantic Basin.

What happens if we run out of names?

This question has been asked on my Facebook page. If we get to the ‘W’ storm (Wilfred) and more storms form after that, they will be assigned Greek letters.

Hurricane season in the Atlantic runs until November 30.

About the Author:

Meteorologist Chris Michaels is an American Meteorological Society (AMS) Certified Broadcaster, forecasting weather conditions in southwest Virginia on WSLS 10 News from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays on Virginia Today.