Teddy heads to Bermuda, Paulette hangs on, Sally is a beast, Vicky dying down
It's still about six days away, but Hurricane Teddy has moved enough to the west to threaten Paulette-battered Bermuda on Monday (Sept. 21) as a Category 2/3 storm packing 100 mph winds.
The only glimmer of hope for the Bermudans is that hurricane-projections from five days out can be off by as much as 200 miles. Forecasters say the storms coming off the coast of Africa have been tracking more to the west as they head north. Unfortunately, that only makes it more likely the island will be hit again. There are prayers being said around the world that Teddy "straighens up" and heads east into the cold North Atlantic where he will do less harm.
Teddy could strengthen to a Category 4 storm Thursday but is expected to be back a "strong" Category 2 or "weak" Category 3 when it either hits Bermuda or mercifully passes it by.
At this time, there are three hurricanes in the Atlantic/Gulf area -- Paulette, Sally and Teddy. Tropical Storm Vicky is also hanging on, for at least another day. Rene has finally disappeared.
The big news is Sally, which is dumping literally feet of water on communities in her path. There are also those wondering when the "older sister" of the active storms, Paulette, will give up the ghost. As of today she is still roaring into the North Atlantic as a Category 1 hurricane, but poses no threat to any other inhabited areas.
A question on many hurricane watchers' minds: "Where's Wilfred?"
The last name to be bestowed before we have to start reciting the Greek alphabet to identify the Atlantic storms has three possible contenders.
Perhaps the best candidate is currently a few hundred miles south-southeast of the Cabo Verde Islands off the African coast. It is expected to become a tropical depression with a 50-50 chance of becoming Wilfred over the weekend and up to a 70 percent chance by early next week.
Another system is producing thunderstorms in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico and shows some signs of becoming more organized. If it holds together, it could become a tropical depression over the next few days, which is the next step toward earning a name.
The other possible Wilfred is northeast of the Azores in the Atlantic. It is being given a 20 percent chance of forming into a tropical storm as it moves toward warmer waters to the southeast this weekend.