Swath of Atlantic still at risk for tropical development into next week

Alex Sosnowski

While the window for tropical systems to brew will soon be closing for some zones in the Atlantic, the risk of tropical development is shifting southward into next week.

Subtropical Storm Melissa formed off the Northeast coast of the United States on Friday morning. This storm will shift eastward away from any land masses through the weekend.

This image taken on Saturday morning, Oct. 12, 2019, shows much of the Atlantic basin. Melissa is seen swirling toward the top left of the image, with unorganized clusters of showers and thunderstorms farther south. (NOAA/GOES-EAST)

More long-term, AccuWeather meteorologists are also watching areas in the Caribbean and off the coast of Africa over the next week for possible tropical trouble.

Tropical disturbances, or tropical waves, continue to move westward off the coast of Africa every three days or so.

These waves make up the Cabo Verde season, which is named for the disturbances that originate near the Cabo Verde Islands just off the west coast of Africa.

Even though we are past the peak of the Cabo Verde season and the hurricane season in general, these disturbances and other areas can still evolve into tropical depressions, storms and hurricanes over time.

"A somewhat stronger tropical wave is forecast to move off the Africa coast this weekend and move westward," Kottlowski said.

"There is a low chance this becomes an organized system next week," he added.

There remains a broad area of weak counterclockwise winds over the western Caribbean and Central America. This feature is called a gyre.

Occasionally, as tropical waves move into this gyre, they have a greater chance at becoming a tropical depression or storm, since there is extra moisture in place and there already is a weak circulation to begin with.

"As a result, the area from the western Caribbean to Central America, including adjacent eastern Pacific waters, could give birth to a tropical system or two through next week," Kottlowski said.

"However, the chance of tropical storm formation is probably significantly higher on the Pacific side as opposed to the Caribbean side," Kottlowski added.

Hurricane season continues until the end of November, and Kottlowski feels there will be another named system or two over the Atlantic Ocean before the season comes to a close.


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