AccuWeather forecasters say there are two tropical entities spinning in the Atlantic, including one that could bring rough surf and tropical downpours to residents from the Leeward Islands to Puerto Rico into Bermuda.
AccuWeather meteorologists have been tracking the first tropical entity, which is now known as Tropical Storm Peter, since it moved swiftly off the African coast as a fast-moving tropical wave just a few days ago. The fast pace at which Peter had been moving inhibited any kind of rapid development, however, early on Sunday morning, Peter slowed down as it neared the Leeward Islands and strengthened enough to become the 16th named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.
This image, captured at Sunday morning, Sept. 19, 2021, shows Tropical Storm Peter churning just west of the Leeward Islands as showers and thunderstorms spread north and east from the center of the storm. (CIRA at Colorado State/GOES-East)
As of Monday morning, Peter was located about 250 miles east-northeast of the northern Leeward Islands and continued to move west-northwest, spreading showers and thunderstorms to the north and east of the storm's center.
Residents from the Leeward Islands to Puerto Rico extending north into Bermuda should continue to keep a close eye on where Peter will track this week. As of now, AccuWeather meteorologists are not anticipating Peter to make landfall, but enhanced tropical downpours, gusty winds and rough surf are likely through early week in the northern Caribbean and late week across Bermuda.
As Peter moves northwest, locally drenching showers and gusty thunderstorms will spread westward across the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico through Tuesday. Any areas that receive numerous tropical downpours from Peter could experience localized flash flooding, especially in any low-lying or poor drainage areas. Interests across the region should continue to monitor Peter closely as passes just to the north of Leeward Islands and to the west of Bermuda this week.
"Islands in the Caribbean, particularly the small islands, are not large enough to produce their own thunderstorms," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski explained. "They rely on weak tropical waves to bring needed rainfall and breaks from the heat."
Peter will produce just that into the early week, provided the storm does not hit as a potent tropical storm.
"Peter is not anticipated to intensify past a low-end tropical storm as it encounters a combination of wind shear and drier air which will prevent the storm from strengthening over the coming days," AccuWeather Meteorologist Randy Adkins said.
As Peter continues to track to the northwest, several hundred miles north of Puerto Rico, by early week a battle with dry air, increasing wind shear and a large dip in the jet stream pattern off the East Coast of the United States will inhibit any chances of rapid intensification. All of these ingredients present will limit any further development past tropical-storm status and will set the storm on a course to move out into the Atlantic Ocean.
Adkins went onto explain that it is possible that Peter gradually loses wind intensity over then next couple of days and it isn't out of the question that the storm loses definition as an organized tropical system.
The United States is likely to be spared from Peter as a potent cold front moves eastward across the U.S this week. The cold front will act as a blockade for the Eastern Seaboard from Peter, pushing the threat out to sea.
Although the East Coast of the United States is looking to be spared from Peter and its impacts, residents in Bermuda should continue to monitor Peter and its track over the coming days. The storm could bring enhanced tropical downpours, gusty winds and rough surf to the island later this week into next weekend.
Meanwhile, near the coast of Africa, another tropical wave continued to push west near the Cabo Verde Islands this past weekend. On Sunday, this cluster of showers and thunderstorms had organized enough to become Tropical Depression 17, which developed into Tropical Storm Rose not long after.
Rose is expected to remain out at sea in the coming days as the storm tracks northwest. As the storm moves northwest, it will move into a harsh environment that is not conducive for rapid intensification of the storm.
"Wind shear will begin to increase again Monday night, and the combination of wind shear and cooler waters should lead to a reduction in wind intensity from Tuesday onward," Adkins explained.
Rose is expected to track into cooler waters, and moderate wind shear will take over and begin to rip the storm apart by late Tuesday night. The storm is anticipated to lose tropical characteristics late in the week over the open waters of the Central Atlantic.
The storm may bring some locally heavy downpours, strong rip currents and rough surf to the Cabo Verde Islands through Monday, but residents should monitor the track of the storm for any shifts in its track.
"While the storm is not expected to pose any direct threats to land, any shipping interests in or near the path of this storm should be prepared for rough seas," Adkins cautioned.
Rose is the 17th named storm of the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane season.
As the Northern Hemisphere begins to transition into the fall season, rapid organization has slowed in recent days compared to prior weeks due to areas of strong wind shear.
"The current atmospheric pattern across the Atlantic remains unfavorable for the robust development of tropical systems," AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said.
Kottlowski cautioned that this pattern does not prevent development entirely, but rather it just makes it more difficult for well-organized tropical systems to take shape.
The Atlantic basin has generated 17 tropical storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes (Category 3 or stronger) so far in 2021, and more are on the way. AccuWeather is projecting 20-25 named tropical storms with as many as 10 hurricanes and five to seven major hurricanes in 2021. One or two more storms may have a direct impact on the U.S., following eight so far.
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