Double Threat: Major Hurricane Possible During Eclipse

Double Threat: Major Hurricane Possible During Eclipse
Hurricane Sandy battered the American East Coast in November of 2012. Now, a storm of similar atmospheric intensity is just forming off the coast of Africa, and could reach the Americas just as the total solar eclipse occurs next week.

In what could be a first in today’s modern technological age, the U.S. could face twin meteorological events next week when a potential “super storm” hurricane approaches during the total solar eclipse.

While the eclipse is making headlines all across the U.S., it will extend well beyond our nation’s borders. The track of the “totality path” of the eclipse closely approaches an area of powerfully low pressure west of Africa that has been dubbed “Invest 91L” by the National Hurricane Center.

With the powerful heatwave currently occurring over much of Europe and down into northern Africa—dubbed “Lucifer”—a tremendous amount of atmospheric energy is being trapped in the sub-Saharan plains along the West African Coast. That energy is driving the development of powerful storms.

One observer noted, however, that Invest 91L featured some of the lowest atmospheric pressures he’s ever seen. And, if that system were to become cyclonic—if it were to develop into a tropical storm—it could become a “super storm” hurricane that could rival Sandy in 2012 in terms of intensity.

Currently, the forecast track for Invest 91L has it passing through the Caribbean by the weekend, but such storms historically have taken a “right turn,” which could shove it directly along the American East Coast, into Florida, or into the Gulf Coast, depending upon its timing. A turn toward the end of this coming weekend, however, could put the storm directly into the path of the solar eclipse’s totality.

Such a convergence is unprecedented in modern history. Click here to learn more about the current tropical storm forecasts from the NHC.

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