Irma, Jose brewing in the Atlantic as Harvey drenches Gulf Coast

Harvey
Cars drive through flooded streets in Lake Charles, La., as the city is receiving heavy rains from Tropical Storm Harvey. More storms are brewing, hurricane center says.

Harvey, with its almost unimaginable rains and devastating flooding on the Gulf Coast, has been the focus of national attention.

For the U.S. coasts it ended the longest run of hurricane luck when it became the first major hurricane to make landfall on the mainland since the 2005 season.

In the early going AIR Worldwide estimates insured losses of up to $2.3 billion, and Harvey undoubtedly will further swamp the troubled National Flood Insurance Program, already $25 billion in debt.

And tropical-storm traffic in a season that already is about five weeks ahead of schedule shows no sign of relenting.

Another  potential tropical storm was brewing on the Southeast Atlantic Coast on Monday, and even if it doesn’t earn a name, it could have some effects locally.

With forecast models showing a northward jog, wind gusts up to 50 mph were possible at the Shore, the National Weather Service said, and the storm is likely to generate a harvest of what the weather service is calling “dangerous” rip currents at the Jersey and Delaware beaches.

To the south, the National Hurricane Center was forecasting 3 to 6 inches of rain and perhaps up to 9 in parts of the Carolinas and Virginia. While that pales in comparison to the 2 feet in Houston, that still would be a substantial dousing.

At 5 p.m. the hurricane center was seeing a 70 percent likelihood that the coastal storm will morph into Tropical Storm Irma in the next 48 hours.

That would be the ninth named storm — one with peak winds of at least 39 mph — of the Atlantic Basin season.

On average, that ninth storm doesn’t pop up until Oct. 4, and usually only five have formed by the end of August.

The 2017 season might well add a 10th by the weekend. The hurricane center says a wave off the coast of Africa has a 70 percent chance of becoming Tropical Storm Jose in the next five days.

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