The first named storm of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season is here. Tropical Storm Alex formed off the southeast coast of Florida Saturday night, and now AccuWeather meteorologists say the storm is on a path that will take it close enough to Bermuda to brush the island nation with rain and gusty winds, while stirring a large swath of rough seas in the process.
Alex formed amid a cluster of disturbed weather that AccuWeather's expert team of meteorologists have been tracking since early last week. The disturbance moved inland as a tropical rainstorm in Florida on Saturday, giving the Sunshine State its first encounter with tropical weather and creating flooding chaos in Miami.
Adam Douty, a senior meteorologist at AccuWeather who frequently issues tropical outlooks for the Atlantic Ocean, said that lessening wind shear allowed the rainstorm to organize into Tropical Storm Alex after it crossed Florida. The storm's intensity peaked Sunday night with maximum sustained winds that reached 70 mph, just 4 mph under that of a Category 1 hurricane.
Strong wind shear kept the system from becoming a full-fledged tropical storm prior to moving onshore Saturday morning, despite 40-mph winds within the center, which is within tropical storm criteria (maximum sustained winds 39-74 mph). AccuWeather meteorologists had been warning all week that even if the system failed to garner a name by the time it reached Florida, it would still bring life-threatening flooding to South Florida.
Seas will be stirred across the southwestern Atlantic Ocean as Alex zips along to the northeast through Monday, leading to dangerous surf and stronger, more frequent rip currents from the northwest Florida coast to Virginia's Tidewater region.
Minor beach erosion and coastal flooding can also occur, especially at high tide.
Alex's path put it on a course that took the center just north of Bermuda. As a result, a tropical storm warning was issued for the islands as of Sunday morning remained in effect on Monday. As of 2 p.m. EDT Monday, the National Hurricane Center reported that Alex was approximately 220 miles northeast of Bermuda, with maximum sustained winds reported at 60 mph. The "closest approach" to Bermuda was during the midday hours on Monday with the center of the storm passing by just under 100 miles to the north.
"Alex will continue to bring gusty winds and periods of rain to the islands, though significant impacts are not expected," Douty said.
Forecasters expect a general inch or two (25-50 mm) of rain across Bermuda through Monday, with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 3 inches (75 mm).
Wind gusts of 60-80 mph (100-130 km/h), with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 85 mph (135 km/h), are expected as the storm skirts by the islands.
Strict building codes enable the island to withstand a strong tropical storm or Category 1 hurricane with minimal impact and damage. In addition, the island nation captures and recycles rainwater since there are no natural reservoirs or springs, so any rain that does fall will be beneficial to the region. As a result, the system is rated a less than one on the AccuWeather RealImpact™ Scale for Hurricanes in Bermuda.
As Alex continues to race northeastward into the North Atlantic, seas are expected to become less dangerous for boaters and bathers along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States and Bermuda heading into the middle of the week.
In the wake of this storm, no other budding tropical features have caught the eye of AccuWeather meteorologists over the coming week.
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