The Atlantic has its second major hurricane of the 2006 season: Hurricane Helene, now a Cat. 3 with 115 mph winds. Like Gordon before it, Helene appears unlikely to threaten land — though folks on the east coast should keep one eye open, and Bermuda may want to keep both eyes open, just in case.
Gordon (top) and Helene (bottom), swimming with the fishes.
Brian Neudorff has more on Helene, observing that the computer models “leave the door open for some debate on where the storm will end up and what impact (if any) this storm will have. Could it cause problems for the Northeastern United States?” The answer: maybe, but probably not. Mark Sudduth agrees. But Margie Kieper thinks next weekend could get interesting.
As for the rest of hurricane season, Dr. Jeff Masters says:
Given that the current jet stream pattern that favors recurving storms and shear-producing upper level lows over the Bahamas and central Caribbean is forecast to continue until the end of September, plus Bill Gray’s September 1 forecast of only two named storms and one non-major hurricane in October, I don’t believe any major hurricanes will affect the U.S. or Caribbean the remainder of hurricane season. I expect one or two tropical storms or Category 1 hurricanes will form in October from the remains of old cold fronts that push off the coast of the U.S. A hurricane of this nature is most likely to affect the west coast of Florida or the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and rarely has enough time over water to make it to Category 3 status. In total, I expect 5 more named storms, 3 hurricanes, and 1 major hurricane this season.
The 2006 Atlantic hurricane season is looking a bit like the 2006 Notre Dame football season, really. After the unexpected insanity of 2005, what with its [devastating landfalls and record-shattering storm counts/unexpectedly good record and historic near-win against the dynastic Trojans], a lot of people bought into the hype and thought that [things would only get worse/Notre Dame would only get better]. The season got off to an underwhelming start with [Alberto/Georgia Tech], but still the hype continued… and [early Ernesto forecasts/the Penn State win] suggested that maybe the hype was justified. Now, however, after the debacle that was [Ernesto’s unforecasted fizzle/the Michigan game], folks are beginning to catch on that the much-hyped 2006 season may not be anything so incredibly special after all… much to [Max Mayfield’s delight/Charlie Weis’s chagrin]. :)