He National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported this morning that two disturbances in the eastern tropical Atlantic will combine to give way to a single low pressure, which would become a tropical depression during this coming weekend.
The two disturbances were classified as suspected cyclonic zones with the acronyms AL97 and AL98. However, the federal agency marked in its outlook for conditions in the tropics, published at 8:00 am, an area in the center of the tropical Atlantic where the cyclonic formation of the future developed system could occur.
The NHC estimated the probability of cyclonic development in two days at 20% and the probability in seven days at 70%.
“A broad area of low pressure over the eastern tropical Atlantic continues to produce disorganized showers and thunderstorm activity. This system is expected to consolidate, with low pressure on the west side dominating over the next day or two.“, detailed the NHC in its report.
“Gradual development of this low pressure is expected and a tropical depression is likely to form by this weekend while moving west-northwest or northwest at 15 miles per hour, across the central tropical Atlantic.” , the agency added.
(Sept 12) The NHC is monitoring an area of interest, with a 70% chance of formation in 7 days, and Hurricanes Lee and Margot in the Atlantic. The NHC is monitoring an area of interest, with a 70% chance of formation in 7 days, and Hurricanes Lee and Margot in the Atlantic. pic.twitter.com/q6oDcL7GYh
— NWS San Juan (@NWSSanJuan) September 12, 2023
If it reaches cyclone characteristics, the disturbance would become tropical depression 15 this year. While, If its winds increase to storm intensity, the system will be named Nigelwhich is next on the list used this year.
The main global and regional models show a tendency to move this system towards open waters north of the Atlantic. This projection should hold for the next few days, even if the system develops cyclonically, so does not represent a threat to the Caribbean.
Although there is no consensus, there is a tendency among various models to project this system as the next hurricane this year. If this projection is realized, the future cyclone would be the sixth hurricane to form so far this year, in the tropical Atlantic basin.
Environmental conditions in the Atlantic have allowed the formation of 14 storms so far this year, five of those reached hurricane strength and three of those hurricanes have been intense (category 3 to 5 in the Saffir-Simpson wind scale). In fact, one of those intense hurricanes is Lee, which, at the time of this publication, remained a Category 3 hurricane with sustained winds at 115 miles per hour.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, in English) updated its official forecast for this year in August to propose a hurricane season above normal, despite the fact that in May an activity relatively close to the annual cyclonic average was expected. The change responds to the unusually warm temperatures in the Atlantic that have influenced the development of these systems more than the conditions caused by the El Nino phenomenon.
The peak day of the hurricane season was last September 10 and this period of cyclonic activity ends on November 30.
Carlos Tolentino Rosario is a journalist who covers weather, climate change and science, among others. He holds a certification in weather forecasting from the Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences at Pennsylvania State University (PSU). He is also a member of the American Meteorological Society (AMS).