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article imageTropical Storm Helene heading toward The United Kingdom

By Karen Graham     Sep 14, 2018 in Environment
London - While the East coast of the U.S. is being battered by Tropical Storm Florence, another Atlantic tropical Storm, Helene, is on track to brush by the western edge of the United Kingdom late Monday.
Actually, with four tropical storms that include Tropical Storm Florence, located inland in extreme eastern South Carolina, Tropical Storm Helene, located over the northeastern Atlantic Ocean, on Tropical Storm Isaac, located in the eastern Caribbean Sea, and Tropical Storm Joyce, located about 1000 miles west-southwest of the Azores, the National Hurricane Center has been very busy.
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But right now we are going to look closer at Tropical Storm Helene, located about 585 miles (940 kilometers) west-southwest of Lajes Air Base in the Azores. Helene has maximum sustained winds of 70 mph (110 kph) and is presently moving to the North at 18 mph (30 kph).
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 160 miles (260 kilometers) from the center. The storm's minimum central pressure is 988 MB or 29.18 inches.
Helene is expected to take a turn toward the north-northeast sometime on Saturday, followed by a turn toward the northeast by Sunday morning. Right now, Helene is expected to weaken over the weekend - and Helene should make the transition to an extratropical cyclone as it approaches Ireland and the United Kingdom.
A Yellow National Severe Weather Warning has been issued by the Met Office for large parts of the western UK as the storm is expected to affect the western side of the country late on Monday before clearing quickly to the north of Scotland through Tuesday morning.
In the Met Office's latest update it is pointed out there is still a large degree of uncertainty on Helene's exact track - something that has been seen with several of the tropical cyclone systems this year. However, a spell of strong winds are expected, starting with parts of south-west England and west Wales, then later south-west Scotland and the south-east of Northern Ireland.
So we are talking about some fairly strong winds that will likely gust to 55-65 mph over much of the warning area, with possible gusts of 70-80 mph in isolated instances.
How the Met Office names storms
Earlier this week, the Met Office announced the storm names for the 2018-2019 season. And, at the beginning of the list is "Ali." But it will not be used for Tropical Storm Helene.
When a tropical storm, hurricane or sub-tropical storm that forms in the Atlantic is named by the National Hurricane Center, the Met Office does not change the name, referring to the storm as "ex-Tropical Storm Helene," for example. However, if the weather system qualifies for naming under the Met Office's rules, it is then referred to it as "Storm Helene."
This system is used to keep track of where the storm originated. Any following named storm in the UK (that is also not a previously named tropical storm or hurricane) will use the next name on the Met Office's list.
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