Humberto Becomes The Third Hurricane of the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season

At 11:00 PM Sunday AST, the National Hurricane Center has upgraded Tropical Storm Humberto to Hurricane Humberto, 1260 kilometers west of Bermuda.

The center of Hurricane Humberto was located by a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft near latitude 29.4 North, longitude 77.6 West. Humberto is moving toward the northeast near 6 KM/H and this motion is expected to continue through Monday morning, followed by a turn toward the east-northeast with a gradual increase in forward speed over the next 3 days.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 120 KM/H with higher gusts. Further strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 kilometers from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 240 kilometers. The estimated minimum central pressure is 988 millibars.

An intense outer band of Humberto is presently affecting the Grand Bahama and the Abacos with heavy thunderstorms and frequent lightning.

Forecast Cone for Hurricane Humberto as of 11:00 PM Sunday 15th September 2019. Credit: National Hurricane Center
Forecast Cone for Hurricane Humberto as of 11:00 PM Sunday 15th September 2019. Credit: National Hurricane Center

Watches & Warnings

Watches and Warnings in effect for Hurricane Humberto as of 11:00 PM Sunday 15th September 2019. Credit: National Hurricane Center

There are no coastal watches and warnings in effect.

Interests in and around Bermuda should monitor the progress of Humberto.

Hazards Affecting Land

Rainfall: Outer rain bands associated with Humberto are expected to produce additional rainfall of 1 to 2 inches in the northwest Bahamas, with isolated storm total amounts of 6 inches. Humberto may bring periods of heavy rain to Bermuda beginning late Wednesday. Street and flash flooding are possible.

Seas: Swells generated by Humberto will affect the northwestern Bahamas, and the southeastern coast of the United States from east-central Florida to North Carolina during the next few days. These swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

This hurricane is of no threat to the Lesser Antilles, including Trinidad and Tobago.

Hurricane Humberto Discussion

Hurricane Humberto churning north of the Bahamas. Credit: Weathernerds

700 mb flight-level wind data from a NOAA P-3 Hurricane Hunter aircraft investigating Humberto indicate that the system’s intensity is now 65 kt. This is also supported by Dvorak classifications from TAFB and SAB, and it makes the cyclone the third hurricane of the 2019 Atlantic season. Humberto’s cloud pattern has continued to gradually become better organized, with increasing coverage and intensity of deep convection, and pronounced upper-level outflow over the eastern semicircle of the circulation. The hurricane is expected to traverse warm Gulf Stream waters for the next several days, but the dynamical models forecast a significant increase in southwesterly vertical shear through 72 hours. In spite of the latter unfavorable factor, the numerical guidance generally shows intensification. This is likely at least partially due to some baroclinic forcing caused by a strong mid-latitude trough to the north and northeast of Humberto. The official forecast is a blend of the latest simple and corrected consensus models and is very similar to the previous one.

Humberto continues to move very slowly and the latest aircraft and satellite center fixes indicate that the motion is now northeastward or 040/3 kt. The hurricane has just rounded the western periphery of a subtropical anticyclone and steering currents are likely to remain weak for the next couple of days. An east-northeastward track with a very gradual increase in forward speed is expected for much of the period while Humberto moves between the subtropical high and stronger westerlies associated with the trough to the north. The new NHC track forecast is a little slower than the previous one in 4-5 days, but not as slow as the latest ECMWF and GFS global model runs.

Large swells from Humberto will affect portions of the northwestern Bahamas and southeastern United States coast during the next few days. These swells are expected to produce dangerous surf conditions and life-threatening rip currents.

Discussion by National Hurricane Center’s Forecaster Pasch.

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