FLORIDA, United States, Friday September 9, 2016 – The Atlantic basin is a bit quiet for now, with no organized features at this time. But a couple of tropical systems may develop as the pattern changes early next week.
“We are currently monitoring a few tropical waves in the Atlantic Basin,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Ed Vallee said.
One of these tropical waves, a cluster of thunderstorms about 900 miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde islands, is developing a low pressure center and will be worth tracking as it gradually moves west-northwest over the coming days.
While conditions are not very favorable across the tropical Atlantic for rapid development at this time, improvement is expected to occur next week and may allow for better organization.
“Future development of this system looks favorable during the next few days and it could become a tropical depression or storm early next week,” AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said.
At this point, the most likely path is for this feature to track northeast of the Leeward Islands next week.
“This feature should be no threat to land for several days, if at all,” Kottlowski said.
If this feature were to develop into something stronger, the main impacts would likely remain offshore with only an increase in surf experienced along the Leeward Islands.
An area of high pressure over the central Atlantic, which is the main steering force for tropical features, will likely pull it northward next week and eventually away from land. However, any small change can alter this path.
The current track would take it well east of Bermuda towards the middle of next week.
“Those with interests in the eastern Caribbean should continue to monitor this feature over the next few days,” Vallee said.
A couple of other weak tropical features across the Atlantic are being watched but pose no threat for further development at this time. Strong wind shear is currently impacting the Gulf of Mexico which should keep activity at a minimum.
This Saturday, Sept. 10, marks the peak of hurricane season in the Atlantic basin. On average, late August and September is the most active time across the tropical Atlantic and the past couple of weeks have been active.
“The Atlantic is quiet for the first time since August15 when Tropical Depression 6 developed,” Kottlowski said.
Tropical Depression 6 would eventually develop into Tropical Storm Fiona at a later time.
Hermine, which dissipated on Tuesday, was the last named Atlantic tropical system. Hermine made landfall across the Florida Panhandle as a hurricane on Sept. 2, before tracking along the Southeast coast and then stalling southeast of Long Island.
Despite a lull in organized activity now, climatology favors additional pulses of energy emerging from Africa and into the eastern tropical Atlantic over the coming weeks.
Thus, the threat for additional tropical storms and hurricanes, some of which may make landfall in the Caribbean or the United States, will persist. The next tropical storm to form will acquire the name Ian.
The Atlantic hurricane season does not officially end until November 30. (Accuweather.com)