As the weather continues to get cooler, we begin to think less and less about the tropics and the potential for hurricanes. Despite the fact that late October generally marks the winding down period of the hurricane season, it's not officially over until November 30. Even then, storms have formed as late as December!
Right now I'm continuing to watch Hurricane Rina in the northern Caribbean Sea and figure out exactly where it is going to go. On Tuesday, Rina was a powerful hurricane and almost made it up to major hurricane status when it was in an environment extremely favorable for development. Suddenly, the environment became a bit more hostile and the storm went through a marked weakening phase. As of Wednesday evening, Rina has been downgraded to a weaker hurricane, with winds sustained near 85 miles per hour.
The predicted path is still quite up in the air, but it is looking like a major impact on the United States will be unlikely. As Rina gradually begins to curve toward the Gulf of Mexico, the environment will remain unfavorable for development and weakening is expected to continue. There is a possibility for some wind and rain in portions of Cuba and possibly the Florida Keys by early next week, but otherwise impacts from this system should be minimal.
Also of note, hurricane names repeat themselves on a six year cycle, unless the storm is particularly devastating and gets permanently banned from the list. Looking back six years to 2005, the name of the "R" storm was Hurricane Rita, which was so severe that it ended up being retired. It was replaced by Rina - the name we see today.
Until next time,