TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The National Hurricane Center is monitoring three tropical waves that are spread across the Atlantic basin. With conditions ideal for some development, are these the storms the east coast has been preparing for?
So far, the NHC has said two of the three disturbances pose a nearly 50% chance of forming sometime in the next seven days. With those odds steadily increasing over the past few days, it’s worth stressing how things can change as we near the most historically active period in the Atlantic hurricane season.
The first of the three waves, which is currently centered about 750 miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands, is expected to develop slightly over the next seven days. The NHC said a tropical depression is possible as it moves west across the central tropical Atlantic.
A second wave moving off the west coast of Africa is also forecast to strengthen slightly before environmental conditions become unfavorable early next week.
A tropical depression could form over the weekend.
Finally, the NHC is also tracking a broad area of low pressure that could form in the central or western Gulf of Mexico by the beginning of next week.
“Some slow development of this system is possible thereafter as it moves westward and
approaches the western Gulf of Mexico coastline by the middle of next week,” the NHC said.
Its chances of formation over the next seven days are low at 20%.
“We do have plenty of time to watch this,” Max Defender 8 Meteorologist Amanda Holly said. “We are talking about it being five to seven days out before it would even get into the Gulf.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently upped the number of hurricanes forecast, officially calling for an “above-normal” 2023 Atlantic hurricane season.
Forecasters said the unusually warm sea surface temperatures are “likely to counterbalance the usually limiting” effects of the resilient El Nino.
NOAA’s updated outlook includes 14-21 named storms, 6-11 hurricanes, and 2-5 major hurricanes. These numbers are mostly in-line with those predicted by researchers at Colorado State University.