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Lead time on tropical storm predictions


SkinsNumberOne

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I've noticed that there are some guys who are either really interested in tropical storms/hurricanes either by profession or necessity on the board. A couple of friends and me are (individually) planning trips to the Caribbean this Hurricane season.

What kind of lead time can you get on accurate hurricane predictions? For example, I've heard there isn't much predicted through the end of the month. Could that change within the next two weeks? When "could" it change (as in, how long would it take to go from "no hurricane predicted" to a "strong indication of a hurricane" prediction)?

Also, what is the best source for long-term predictions of hurricanes? I'm most interested in being able to forecast 2 weeks in advance if possible, but maybe that's not possible (it does seem a bit of a stretch in my mind to get beyond 1 week, but I know very little about this subject). I think the hurricanes often start off on the coast of Africa for the eastern Caribbean, but I have no idea how long they take to cross over to here. I saw some "Invest" storm brewing somewhere, but again had very little idea what I was looking at.

Any help appreciated... thanks!

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