Photos: Tropical Storm Florence Joins 2012 Hurricane Season: Photos Of Debby, Ernesto And Other Storms This Year
By IBTimes Staff Reporter | Aug 05, 2012 01:11 AM EDT
Tropical Storm Florence formed on Saturday, joining Tropical Storm Ernesto in the Atlantic Ocean, as the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season begins to take shape. The two storms have moved westward on paths that could bring them to the coastal United States.
On Saturday morning, the Associated Press reported that a tropical depression had formed in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean, and soon afterward, the National Hurricane Center classified it as a tropical storm. This is the sixth named storm for this year's hurricane season.
Florence is about 330 miles west of the southernmost part of the Cape Verde islands, NBC has reported, and it has sustained winds of 40 mph.
However, residents of the United States should not have to worry, according to Florida local news source Bay News 9.
"Florence is not going to really do a whole lot," according to Josh Linker, the network's meteorologist.
Tropical Storm Florence is still far from the Caribbean, according to NBC.
Ernesto, contrastingly, sustained winds up to 60 mph and should "pass near or south of Jamaica on Sunday," the National Hurricane Center said.
"Ernesto is expected to become a hurricane on Sunday," the center also said.
Jamaica has issued a tropical storm watch, and Ernesto is likely to pass through Grand Cayman on Monday and then Cancun/Cozumel in Mexico on Wednesday, according to weather.com. The website also added that it would be "unclear whether Ernesto poses a threat to the U.S. late next week."
The storm swept through St. Lucia on Friday, forcing businesses and government offices to close until noon. The storm created 12-foot waves a few miles off of the north shore of the island. However, Ernesto moved too quickly to inflict any substantial damage or injuries on the island, resulting in less than an inch of rain.
The Atlantic-Caribbean hurricane season lasts from June 1 through Nov. 30, with August and September being the most active months. Before Ernesto formed on Thursday, Atlantic tropical storm Debby hit more than a month ago. Eight deaths resulted from the storm, NBC reports.
In May, forecasters said that anywhere between nine and 15 named storms could be expected this season, with between four and eight predicted to be hurricanes.
Hurricane Alberto kicked off the 2012 hurricane season in May. Here's a look at what this season in tropical storms has seen so far.
Ernesto can be seen on the left and Florence is on the right, according to this satellite image uploaded to Twitter by Christine Ferreira.Source: Twitter Date:08/05/2012
Matt Smeaton, 14, floats down a closed six-lane road in New Port Richey, Fla., on June 26, 2012.Source: Reuters / Brian Blanco Date:08/05/2012
Flooded office of an auto sales shop in New Port Richey, Fla., as Debby hits on June 26, 2012.Source: Reuters / Brian Blanco Date:08/05/2012
A view of the Carolina coast as Hurricane Alberto, the first of the season, began to take shape.Source: Reuters / Chris Keane Date:08/05/2012