loader image
Tropical Storm Epsilon Forecast to Pass Near or East of Bermuda as a Hurricane Late Week

Tropical Storm Epsilon Forecast to Pass Near or East of Bermuda as a Hurricane Late Week

At a Glance

  • Tropical Storm Epsilon is located in the central Atlantic Ocean.

  • Epsilon could track near or east of Bermuda as a hurricane late this week.

  • Another area of disturbed weather in the western Caribbean is also being tracked.

Tropical Storm Epsilon is expected to intensify into a hurricane in the central Atlantic Ocean before tracking near or east of Bermuda late this week. While not a U.S. threat, it may help generate high surf along the East Coast later this week.

Epsilon became the 26th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season late Monday morning, beating the previous record earliest 26th storm of the 2005 hurricane season – Nov. 22, 2005 – by over a month, according to Phil Klotzbach, Colorado State University tropical scientist.

The tropical storm is centered more than 700 miles southeast of Bermuda and is moving little at this time.

Epsilon’s wind field is large in size with tropical-storm-force winds extending outward up to 275 miles from its circulation center.

Epsilon is forecast to strengthen and become the Atlantic’s 10th hurricane of the season by Wednesday night or Thursday.

With blocking high pressure aloft to its north, this system won’t be able to simply take off immediately into the open North Atlantic, but instead will be steered northwestward slowly.

That track may allow Epsilon to move near or east of Bermuda as a hurricane by Friday. It’s too early to provide specific forecast impacts for Bermuda, as those details depend on how close the center of Epsilon tracks, but at least some bands of heavy rain and strong winds are possible.

All interests in Bermuda should monitor the forecast of Epsilon closely.

This system is not a threat to the U.S. East Coast.

However, the pressure difference between strong high pressure over the North Atlantic Ocean and Epsilon should eventually generate swells that will push toward parts of the East Coast, leading to high surf and rip currents later this week.

This rough surf should also extend to the Bahamas, and north-facing coasts of Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the Leeward Islands.

Parts of the U.S. East Coast are already seeing coastal flooding and rip currents early this week. That is being caused by a combination of king tides and onshore winds from an area of high pressure.

Western Caribbean Sea
The other area we’re watching is in the western Caribbean Sea.

A broad area of low pressure has developed stretching from east of central America to western Cuba.

The low-pressure system is expected to track toward Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula over the next couple of days. However, forecast models are trending lower on development chances in this zone.

Regardless, some locally heavy rain is possible in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and parts of Cuba, Jamaica and the Cayman Island through midweek.

We’ve now blown through 26 storms this season, requiring the use of the Greek alphabet for additional named storms for only the second time.

The record 2005 Atlantic hurricane season used up the first six letters of the Greek alphabet, but it took until the end of December for “Zeta” to form that year.

One unnamed subtropical storm was found in post-analysis of the 2005 season, thus bringing that season’s record total to 28 storms.
Tropical Depression Twenty-Seven Forms in the Central Atlantic, Should Intensify Into a Hurricane

Tropical Depression Twenty-Seven Forms in the Central Atlantic, Should Intensify Into a Hurricane

At a Glance

  • Tropical Depression Twenty-Seven has formed in the Atlantic.

  • The depression is forecast to become Hurricane Epsilon.

  • Another area of disturbed weather in the western Caribbean is also being tracked.

Tropical Depression Twenty-Seven has formed in the central Atlantic and is expected to intensify into Hurricane Epsilon before tracking close to Bermuda later this week. There’s also an area that bears watching for tropical development in the western Caribbean Sea. Here’s a look at the forecast for what to expect. Tropical Depression Twenty-Seven Tropical Depression Twenty-Seven is centered about 700 miles southeast of Bermuda and is not moving at this time. The depression is forecast to intensify into Tropical Storm Epsilon as soon as later Monday. It could become the Atlantic’s 10th hurricane of the season by midweek. With blocking high pressure aloft to its north, this system won’t be able to simply take off immediately into the open North Atlantic, but instead will be steered northwestward. That track may allow future Epsilon to move near Bermuda as a hurricane by late in the week ahead. It’s too early to provide specific forecast impacts for Bermuda, but bands of heavy rain and strong winds are possible. This system isn’t a threat to the U.S. East Coast. However, the pressure difference between strong high pressure over the North Atlantic Ocean and future Epsilon should eventually generate swells that will push toward parts of the East Coast, leading to high surf and rip currents later this week. This rough surf should also extend to the Bahamas, and north-facing coasts of Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the Leeward Islands. Advertisement Parts of the U.S. East Coast are already seeing coastal flooding and rip currents early this week. That is being caused by a combination of king tides and onshore winds from an area of high pressure.
Western Caribbean Sea The other area we’re watching is in the western Caribbean Sea. A broad area of low pressure may develop this week east of central America and south of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. While some ocean heat content was churned up by Tropical Storm Gamma and Hurricane Delta, the Caribbean Sea is still plenty warm enough to support tropical development. If the broader low-pressure system can tighten up into a more defined circulation with colocated thunderstorm activity, then a tropical depression could form sometime later this week in this area. Beyond that, the strength or final track of this potential system remains highly uncertain. This area of low pressure could enhance rainfall across the western Caribbean region this week. It’s too soon to know if this potential system will affect any other land areas in the long-term future.
We’ve already blown through 25 storms this season, requiring the use of the Greek alphabet for additional named storms for only the second time. The record 2005 Atlantic hurricane season also used up the first six letters of the Greek alphabet, but it took until the end of December for “Zeta” to form that year.
One unnamed subtropical storm was found in post-analysis of the 2005 season, thus bringing that season’s record total to 28 storms.
Colorado’s Largest Wildfire Ever Gets Even Bigger; Fire Near Boulder Forces Evacuations

Colorado’s Largest Wildfire Ever Gets Even Bigger; Fire Near Boulder Forces Evacuations

At a Glance

  • Homes were lost to the flames of the Cameron Peak Fire.

  • Winds gusted up to 40 mph. The fire has burned more than 317 square miles.

  • The CalWood Fire in Boulder County forced evacuations in Jamestown.

The largest wildfire ever recorded in Colorado continues to grow, but firefighting officials hoped to gain ground on Sunday.

Meanwhile, a fire in Boulder County forced nearly 3,000 people from their homes.

The Cameron Peak Fire, raging in the mountains west of Fort Collins and Loveland in Larimer County, had burned more than 317 square miles as of Sunday, according to an update from the National Forest Service. It was 62% contained. Calmer winds and higher humidity Saturday night helped firefighters, the Greeley Tribune reported.

“Back in The Retreat in Glen Haven, unfortunately, the fire did consume some homes overnight and through the day on Saturday, but thankfully it did not race through the subdivision,” Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said in a Facebook post Sunday.

Smith had previously said it would be at least several days before more detailed damage assessments could be conducted.

Several rural areas around the fire remained under mandatory evacuation orders, and parts of the Arapaho and Roosevelt national forests, as well as portions of Rocky Mountain National Park, were closed.

The blaze has been burning since mid-August.

“The plan today is to try to hold the fire to the east,” Paul Delmerico, operations chief for the Cameron Peak fire said early Saturday, according to the Associated Press. “We’re facing the same critical fire conditions today as we did yesterday.”

Cameron added that it appeared the town of Estes Park would not be threatened by the fire as feared.

CalWood Fire

The CalWood Fire began midday Saturday and quickly consumed more than 10 square miles.

Officials evacuated more than 1,600 homes in the town of Jamestown, about 10 miles northwest of Boulder. Residents in parts of Lyons were told to be ready to evacuate.

The National Weather Service in Boulder warned of dense smoke.

Red flag warnings were in effect through Saturday night.

Similar fire weather conditions were also threatening parts of California, Utah and New Mexico.

Dry conditions persisted in Arizona, where residents in a rural mountain community in Yavapai County were told to evacuate Friday night after a fire there moved toward several homes.

A small fire that erupted Friday afternoon in the San Francisco Bay Area threatened to burn the historic South San Francisco hillside sign in San Mateo County. Local news reports said two teenagers confessed to starting the blaze, which prompted some evacuations but was contained within a few hours.

New Wildfire Prompts Evacuations in California As More Hot, Dry Weather Moves In

New Wildfire Prompts Evacuations in California As More Hot, Dry Weather Moves In

At a Glance

  • The Bruder Fire was burning in San Bernardino County.

  • It’s the latest blaze in California’s record fire year.

  • Colorado’s Cameron Peak fire is the largest in state history.

A newly sparked wildfire in California forced the evacuation of dozens of people Wednesday night, as the state faces another round of dangerous fire weather.

The Bruder Fire is burning south of Redlands in San Bernardino County, according to CalFire. The blaze had burned about 100 acres and was 30% contained as of Thursday morning.

About 50 homes were under a mandatory evacuation order, KCAL-TV reported.

Video posted to social media showed flames and smoke on a hillside.

The wildfire is the latest in what has become California’s largest fire season ever recorded, with more than 6,400 square miles of land burned, bigger than the entire state of Connecticut. Flames have destroyed some 9,200 homes and other buildings and left at least 31 people dead.

Hot, dry and sometimes windy conditions are fueling the fires. Red flag warnings are in effect across much of Northern California, as well as in parts of Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Colorado, where conditions could be favorable for fire growth.

Critical fire weather conditions were expected in Southern California on Thursday and Friday.

The potential for fires will remain above normal in much of California throughout October and into November, according to the National Weather Service’s monthly wildland fire outlook.

The conditions prompted Pacific Gas & Electric to shut off electricity starting Wednesday night to about 53,000 customers across 24 counties as a preventive measure to keep power lines and other infrastructure from sparking fires. The utility said the outages could last through Friday morning.

Residents across the state were asked to reduce their power usage from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday to help limit the strain on the state’s power grid.

Many of the larger deadly and destructive fires that have been burning in California since mid-August were largely under control as of Thursday morning.

The Zogg Fire, which killed four people and burned more than 88 square miles in Shasta County, was 100% contained.

The Glass Fire, which tore through more than 100 square miles including famed wine country in Napa and Sonoma counties, was 97% contained. The blaze destroyed more than 1,500 structures and damaged 282.

The North Complex fire in Plumas and Butte County was 94% contained after burning nearly 500 square miles. The wildfire killed at least 15 people, tied for the fifth deadliest wildfire on record in California.

The August Complex, the largest fire in state history with more than 1,600 square miles burned, was 76% contained.

While the overall situation was good news, fire officials warned this week’s weather could set the stage for more new blazes and setbacks in fighting existing ones.

“If a new fire breaks out, that fire will be able to grow very quickly under these conditions,” Daniel Berlant, assistant deputy director with CalFire, told The Associated Press.

California isn’t the only state with record-breaking fires this year. The Cameron Peak Fire burning near Fort Collins, Colorado, became that state’s largest fire in history on Wednesday, according to the Coloradoan, burning more than 250 square miles. The blaze was 56% contained as of Thursday morning. Several areas near the fire remained under mandatory evacuation orders.

Hurricanes Laura and Delta Complicate Voting For Displaced Louisianans

Hurricanes Laura and Delta Complicate Voting For Displaced Louisianans

At a Glance

  • Thousands of people remain displaced from their homes.

  • Evacuees can vote by absentee ballot or in person.

  • Displaced residents have little time to change addresses and obtain absentee ballots.

Thousands of Louisianans who fled or were displaced by back-to-back hurricanes Laura and Delta remain scattered in hotel rooms and other temporary housing as election day approaches. People who won’t be in their home parish on election day have two options: vote early in person or cast a ballot by mail, according to the Calcasieu Parish Clerk of Courts. The entire parish, with a population of more than 192,000 people including the city of Lake Charles, was under a mandatory evacuation order for both Laura in late August, and Delta last week. Calcasieu, along with Cameron Parish to the south, were the hardest-hit areas in the state. Early in-person voting starts Friday and runs through Oct. 27 throughout Louisiana, according to the state’s voter information website. (MORE: Delta and Laura Mean Some People Will Be Forced to Seek Disaster Aid Twice) More than 9,100 Louisiana residents were still in emergency shelters or other accommodations as of Sunday morning, Catherine Heitman, spokeswoman for the Department of Children and Family Services, told Reuters. That number is up 10 percent from numbers prior to Delta. Based on previous comments from Gov. John Bel Edwards, most of them were in hotels in and around New Orleans, about three hours from the areas hardest hit by Laura in August and Delta late last week.
That would likely make it hard for them to return for in-person voting. “We’ve received tons of calls” from people wanting to know how to vote, Jean Anne East, co-director of elections for the Calcasieu Parish Clerk of Court, told weather.com Tuesday. “I think they will take every opportunity they have to vote, be it a mail-in ballot or coming in person.” Displaced registered voters have until Oct. 30 to request an absentee ballot. They must be returned by Nov. 2. East said voters can request an absentee ballot be sent to any address, not just the one they have on file with her office. It should be noted, though, that the U.S. Postal Service recommends requesting an absentee ballot at least two weeks before election day, which would be Oct. 20, and mailing it back at least seven days prior to the return deadline, or Oct. 27. Advertisement Tyler Brey, a spokesperson for the Louisiana Department of State, told weather.com Tuesday his department didn’t have a breakdown of how many evacuees were registered voters. He said the state started running radio ads and social media campaigns after Hurricane Laura to make voters aware of their options. Louisiana previously delayed elections in some parishes after hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and Gustav and Ike in 2008, according to WDSU-TV. Brey said there were no plans to change voting rules because of this year’s storms. Michael Morley, an assistant professor of law at Florida State University who has written about disasters and voting, pointed out that 2005 and 2008 weren’t presidential election years, which makes it easier to change things up. “With the presidential election you start brushing up against deadlines that are set forth in federal law and the constitution itself,” Morley told weather.com in an interview Tuesday. He noted that modifications can be made, though, depending on when a storm hits and other factors. Voters in New Jersey, for example, were allowed to cast ballots in any precinct in 2012 after Hurricane Sandy hit just days before that year’s presidential election. The state also made other emergency accommodations such as extending the deadline for mail-in ballots to be received. It’s not just hurricanes that are complicating voting this year. In March, Louisiana became the first state in the nation to postpone its presidential primary election because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to The New York Times. Last month, a federal judge ordered the state to expand eligibility for mail-in voting to people affected by COVID-19, including those at risk of severe illness, caregivers and those who are under quarantine, The Associated Press reported. Brey said the state also added more early voting days and extended hours at the polls. The Secretary of State’s office said in a news release dated Sept. 25 that this year would see the highest number of absentee ballots ever recorded. Calcasieu Parish Clerk of Court Lynn Jones said that seeing how elected leaders react in a disaster is a good reminder to vote. “When we get into a situation like we just experienced in Laura and the leadership and the things that happened, really was based on how you voted,” Jones told KPLC. “And so, right now, more than ever, we see why it’s important to exercise your right to vote.”
Hurricane Delta Saturates Storm-Scarred Louisiana; 800,000 Without Power Along Gulf Coast

Hurricane Delta Saturates Storm-Scarred Louisiana; 800,000 Without Power Along Gulf Coast

At a Glance

  • More than 800,000 homes and businesses were without power early Saturday.

  • Many areas flooded as Delta dropped more than a foot of rain in places.

  • Storm surge inundated coastal areas.

  • High winds ripped tarps off homes damaged in Hurricane Laura six weeks ago.

More than 800,000 Gulf Coast homes and businesses were left without power Saturday morning as the remnants of Hurricane Delta continued to push inland across Louisiana and into the South.

Delta, now a tropical storm, already dumped record amounts of rain in some parts of the state, causing flash flooding that stranded cars, made roads impassable and sent water into homes. More than a foot of rain fell in parts of Lake Charles, Louisiana.

“I’ll take all the thoughts and prayers I can get right now,” Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter told CNN, adding that search and rescue missions would begin as soon as it was safe to go outside.

About 7,000 residents of Lake Charles had not been able to return to their homes since they were damaged by Hurricane Laura six weeks ago, Hunter said. Across the city, Hurricane Delta on Friday ripped tarps off the damaged buildings as if they were bright blue Band-Aids.

“I’m in a building right now with a tarp on it and just the sound of the tarp flapping on the building sounds like someone pounding with a sledgehammer on top of the building,” Hunter told the Associated Press. “It’s pretty intense.”

About 75 miles to the east, the town of Delcambre also had water standing in its streets.

More than 595,000 customers were without power in Louisiana as of 7:30 a.m. CDT Saturday, according to poweroutage.us. Another 105,000 outages were being reported in Texas, and Mississippi had almost 95,000. Thousands in Arkansas and Alabama also had no electricity.

Officials in Mississippi’s Franklin County told the Clarion-Ledger a possible tornado snapped trees in the southeastern area of the county on Friday night. A possible tornado was also spotted south of Mobile, Alabama, about 5 a.m. Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

Delta made landfall near Creole, Louisiana, as a Category 2 hurricane with winds of 100 mph about 14 miles east of where Hurricane Laura came ashore in Cameron, Louisiana, in August.

More from Louisiana
Westbound Interstate 10 was closed in Lake Charles after three tractor-trailers and an RV overturned on the Calcasieu River Bridge. The state Transportation Department said the interstate would be closed until further notice.

Standing water closed Louisiana State Highway 1 in Lafourche Parish south of the Leon Theriot Lock in Golden Meadow to Leeville, the Sheriff’s Office reported.

The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office listed dozens of roads that had standing water or downed trees blocking them.

More than 15 roads had downed trees or power lines or standing water in Iberia Parish, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Other parishes reporting road closures included St. Martin, St. Landry, Lafayette, Vermillion, Evangeline and Acadia, according to the state Transportation Department.