6 PM Eastern, Thursday Frances became a hurricane today, and is forecast to become a Category 3 over the weekend. Most track models have decided that the effects of the upper trough in the central Atlantic will be modest, and that the storm will be moving westward under the ridge in the western Atlantic during the coming week. People are already alluding to historic storms, but remember that there are usually systems like this every year and few make the history books. That said, I would be paying very close attention to it leading up to Labor Day weekend. There is also a chance it will come close enough to the Lesser Antilles to foul the weather up this weekend.
A low pressure area is consolidating off the South Carolina coast today, and some forecast models are now developing it. This system is forecast to move very little over the next couple of days, and will pose a threat days ahead of Frances' advance if it can organize. Another wave on the same old frontal boundary that has spawned the low off the Carolina coast is looking suspicious south of Bermuda this afternoon.
The days leading up to Labor Day promise to be active ones for storm trackers. Keep an eye on the tropics as August is on the wane.
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