9th tropical storm forms

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, September 29, 2006 – The ninth tropical storm of the season formed yesterday but will not pose a threat to the Carribbean.

Tropical Storm Isaac formed in the mid-Atlantic ocean and is being drawn northward where he is expected to slowly intensify and then become extra-tropical as he moves into the colder north Atlantic towards Europe.

At 5 am Eastern Standard Time, Isaac was located about 635 miles east-southeast of Bermuda, that is near latitude 28.9 north and 54.9 west travelling at a slow eight miles per hour (mph) towards the north-northwest.

The National Hurricane Centre in Miami said that the cyclone which has sustained winds of 45 mph is expected to turn towards the northwest later tonight.

Over the next five days Isacc is expected to make more of a right turn northward.

On its projected path, Isacc poses no threat to any land mass.

Season’s forecast

This year’s initial hurricane forecast has been reduced twice, each time reducing the level of activity expected due to “El Nino-like” conditions in the Atlantic which forecasters and atmospheric scientists are hard pressed to explain. El Nino produces strong upper levels winds blowing towards the east. These winds chop off the top of clouds as they are trying to form into strong and deep thunderstorms. In addition, the Atlantic has been virtually blanketed by huge clouds of Saharan Dust which also puts the damper on rainfall.

The forecast is for 12 to 15 storms, seven to nine hurricanes and three to four major hurricanes with winds in excess of 111 mph.

So far for the season there have been nine storms, four hurricanes, and two intense hurricanes.

The peak of the hurricane season ends mid-October.