Gordon becomes 7th named storm of the season; forecast to move eastward over the next 5 days.
Tropical Depression Eight formed in the Atlantic Wednesday evening and developed into Tropical Storm Gordon early this morning. At the 11:00 AM EDT advisory, Gordon had maximum sustained winds estimated at 50 mph. It was moving NE at 16 mph – away from the United States and Caribbean/Western Atlantic islands.
It is forecast to turn eastward and head toward western Europe. Along the way, it may pass near or over the Azores in the eastern Atlantic. Gordon may or may not retain its’ tropical features as it passes near these islands and heads toward Europe. The official intensity forecast calls for Gordon to briefly reach hurricane status on Saturday morning before weakening and becoming extratropical (non-tropical; not super-duper tropical) as the weekend comes to an end. If so, it seems Gordon will follow the pattern of other tropical cyclones this season that have been generally weak and barely reached hurricane status – when they actually reached hurricane status.
Again, all signs point to an early end to the Atlantic hurricane season with the developing El Niño in the Pacific. Yet, multiple forecasts continue to point toward increased activity before the season is up. We’ll be watching the next few weeks closely.