Two hurricanes in the Atlantic

Tropical wave leaves Cayman wet


Hurricane Julia formed early
Tuesday morning in the distant Atlantic Ocean as Hurricane Igor finally made
the northwest turn expected by forecasters.

As the storms were building the
Cayman Islands had its eye on a tropical wave in the Caribbean Sea that dumped
less than an inch of rain on Grand Cayman.

Forecasters say the wave has become
more organised and could grow into a tropical storm before it reaches the
Yucatan Peninsula Wednesday or Thursday.

The wave stayed well to the south
of Grand Cayman, bringing only small gusts of wind, cloudiness and intermittent
rain showers.

A hurricane hunter aircraft was
scheduled to explore the wave Tuesday.

Tracking models projected that the
system will continue west toward the Yucatan Peninsula.

A number of the computer models
that predicted intensity showed the wave growing into a tropical storm by
Wednesday or Thursday as it approaches land. Some models have it reaching
hurricane strength Friday or Saturday after crossing the Yucatan and emerging
in the southwest Gulf of Mexico before again approaching Mexico.

The next storm will be named Karl.

Julia, the season’s fifth
hurricane, had winds of 85 mph. It was expected to grow slightly stronger the
next few days before venturing over cooler water.

Julia should peak at about 90 mph
by Wednesday or Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said. After that, Julia
should slowly weaken over cooler water as wind flowing off the top of Igor saps
some of its strength.

Julia was not expected to come
close to land.

Tuesday morning, Julia was about
335 miles west northwest of the Cape Verde Islands on a west-northwest track at
10 mph.

Igor, meanwhile, continued to be a
powerful Category 4 hurricane with 135 mph winds and appeared to be taking aim
on Bermuda. Forecasters called for Igor to weaken slightly as it approached the
island with winds of about 100 mph by Sunday morning.

Tuesday morning, Igor was about 710
miles east of the northern Leeward Islands moving to the west- northwest at 7

Forecasters had been calling for
Igor to curve from its westerly track and start taking a more northerly path
into the northern Atlantic, staying well away from the United States.

Despite seven storms forming in the
Atlantic since the beginning of August, only one became a threat to the US
coast. Hurricane Earl raked close to the East Coast, but its most dangerous
winds stayed offshore.

The storms are moving between an
area of high pressure in the eastern Atlantic and low pressure jutting from the
US coast. Storms have moved through the area in the middle of the ocean, where
the high and low pressure areas meet.

Normally the high pressure area is
centred farther to the west, roughly over Bermuda, giving it the name Bermuda
High. The typical more westerly location guides storms closer to the United

This season, the high pressure area
is closer to the Azores, Florida state meteorologist Amy Godsey said.


Hurricane Igor churns in the Atlantic.
Photo: NOAA

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