Tropical Storm Humberto Develops East of the Bahamas

Former Tropical Depression Nine strengthened into Tropical Storm Humberto east of the Bahamas on Friday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Friday night the center of Tropical Storm Humberto was located at latitude 25.6°N and longitude 75.2°W which put it about 130 miles (210 km) east-southeast of Great Abaco, Bahamas.  Humberto was moving toward the northwest at 6 m.p.h. (10 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1008 mb.

Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the Abacos, the Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island and New Providence.

A NOAA research aircraft flying through former Tropical Depression Nine on Friday night determined that the depression had strengthened into Tropical Storm Humberto.  The aircraft reported that the maximum sustained wind speed had increased to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h).  The circulation around Tropical Storm Humberto was still poorly organized.  A few thunderstorms developed just to the north of the center of circulation.  A band of showers and thunderstorms curved around the eastern side of the circulation.  Bands in the other parts of Tropical Storm Humberto consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.

Tropical Storm Humberto will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification during the next few days.  Humberto will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.   A large upper level low over the Gulf of Mexico will produce southerly winds which will blow toward the top of the tropical storm. Those winds will cause moderate vertical wind shear and they will inhibit intensification.  The upper low is forecast to move westward away from Humberto and the wind shear could decrease during the weekend. Tropical Storm Humberto is forecast to slowly become more organized and it could strengthen into a hurricane.

The upper low over the Gulf of Mexico will help to steer Tropical Storm Humberto toward the northwest during the next day or two.  A strong upper level trough over the Great Lakes will start to turn Humberto toward the east later in the weekend.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Storm Humberto could move near the Northwestern Bahamas.  If Humberto brings wind and rain to that region, it will hinder efforts to recover from Hurricane Dorian.