Tropics stirring; storms and quakes
The 14th named storm of the 2008 hurricane season popped up far out in the Atlantic over the weekend, and this morning another tropical depression (above) was forming in the Caribbean.
Tropical Storm Nana - not exactly a name to be feared, it would seem - was an especially unimpressive patch of clouds about halfway between the coast of Africa and the Caribbean islands. Struggling against strong shearing winds aloft, the storm was managing top sustained winds barely strong enough to qualify as a tropical storm. And she has since lost strength and been demoted to a tropical depression. She is expected to be no more than a "remnant low" before the day ends.
The other actor in the tropics this morning is Tropical Depression 15, now centered about 340 miles southwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico in the eastern Caribbean. TD15 is sporting top sustained winds of 35 mph, and is expected to pick up speed and begin drifting toward the northeast later today. It is also likely to strengthen to tropical storm status. If so, it will become Tropical Storm Omar.
The National Hurricane Center is considering tropical storm watches for the islands of Puerto Rico and the Virgin US Islands later today. From there, the storm is forecast to become a hurricane and head out into the Atlantic, with no further threat to land.
Speaking of the Virgin Islands, there was a sizable earthquake - 6.1 on the Richter scale - just north of the islands on Saturday, with lots of aftershocks since. Anybody down there reading this? We'd love some reports.