Hurricane center keeps eyes on system with odds of becoming next tropical depression

·2 min read

The National Hurricane Center is focusing on a system with a threat of developing into the next tropical depression.

The non-tropical low pressure system is a few hundred miles southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia, the NHC said in its 8 p.m. update. The extratropical low is impacting the U.S. East Coast with strong gale-force winds. Although, the NHC believes this should end sometime Thursday.

Meteorologists are expecting the gale area to move north-northeastward and could acquire some limit sub-tropical characteristics moving over warmer waters this weekend in the central Atlantic.

Models forecast a 20% chance of the system becoming a tropical depression in the next two days, and 30% chance by the end of the week, but moving eastward or southeastward over the central Atlantic. The system will not impact Florida.

If the storm develops maximum sustained winds of 40 mph or more, it will become a tropical or subtropical storm, receiving the name Wanda — it is also the last name on the World Meteorological Organization’s regular-season list. If there is another named storm after Wanda, the WMO will activate its auxiliary list, starting with Adria. The WMO retired from using Greek letters earlier this year because of confusion caused by similar-sounding letters: Zeta, Eta, and Theta.

The Atlantic has been quiet for the last two weeks since Hurricane Sam’s long trek through the Atlantic and became a post-tropical storm on Oct. 5.

There have been 20 named storms this year.

At this same point last year, meteorologists were keeping track of 27 named storms with Epsilon and Zeta spinning in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. The latter struck Louisiana on Oct. 28 as a Category 3 major hurricane causing $1.25 billion in damages, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Jpedersen@orlandosentinel.com

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