Tropical storm Humberto has formed in the eastern Atlantic and is the healthiest-looking cyclone of hurricane season, now near its mid-point. Humberto may finally end the hurricane drought, nearing record territory.
Link: Hurricane Tracker
Humberto’s appearance on satellite imagery is steadily improving and conditions are ripe for additional intensification.
Related: Humberto forms, could become season’s first hurricane (Brian McNoldy)
At 11 a.m. EDT, Humberto’s maximum sustained winds were 45 mph. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecasts Humberto to reach hurricane strength Tuesday afternoon, September 10.
If that forecast holds true, Humberto will end up ranking as either the second or third latest forming hurricane.
List of latest forming hurricanes
September 11: Gustav (2002)
September 10: Diana (1984)
September 9: Gustav (2013)
September 8: Erin (2001)
But if the forecast is wrong and Humberto fails to achieve hurricane status by 8 a.m. September 11, it would set the record the latest first hurricane since monitoring of these storms began via satellite in 1967.
The fledgling storm is positioned south of the Cape Verde islands, not far from the west coast of Africa.
Forecast models project Humberto will head on a course towards the north and northwest, no threat to major land areas. Such storms, which remain mainly over open water, are sometimes referred to as “fish storms.”
Aside from Humberto, the tropical Atlantic remains fairly quiet.
But coastal resident should continue to monitor the tropics, the NHC cautions.
“It is a mistake to believe that the second half of the season would resemble the first half,” Dennis Feltgen, spokesman with the NHC, tells USA Today.