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And Gert Makes Seven ... Tropical Storms

The 2011 Atlantic hurricane season is chugging along as it enters what is typically its most active months with the formation over the weekend of Tropical Storm Gert, the seventh tropical storm of the season.

Gert is currently about 95 miles (155 kilometers) east-southeast of Bermuda, but is not expected to threaten the island; hurricane forecasters canceled the tropical storm warning for Bermuda this morning (Aug. 15).

The storm has maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kph). It is possible that Gert will intensify into a hurricane in the next 24 hours as it continues to travel over warm ocean waters, which serve to fuel hurricanes, but after that time period, Gert will be moving to the northeast and over cooler waters, which should cause it to weaken.

Gert was one of two tropical storms to form over the weekend. The other, Franklin, formed in the wee hours of Saturday morning (EDT), but had mostly fizzled out by midnight Sunday (Aug. 14).

On Saturday, August 13 at 4:45 a.m. EDT, GOES-13 captured this infrared image of Tropical Storm Franklin.
On Saturday, August 13 at 4:45 a.m. EDT, GOES-13 captured this infrared image of Tropical Storm Franklin.
Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project

If Gert does not become a hurricane, the 2011 season will make a record for the most number of storms without a hurricane, according to CNN weather reporter Rob Marciano.

Though this season has yet to spawn a hurricane, it is forecast to be a doozy. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) updated its forecast on Aug. 4, predicting 14 to 19 named storms (which include tropical storms and hurricanes), seven to 10 hurricanes and three to five major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher). An average Atlantic hurricane season will see 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes.

August through October are the peak months of the Atlantic hurricane season.