Three disturbances could grow into tropical depressions or tropical storms in a few days, crowding the Atlantic Ocean with activity just a few days past the peak of hurricane season, according to forecasters.
An absence of significant storm-shredding wind shear and a lack of dry air are creating favorable conditions for storm development. Warm water temperatures, at 80 degrees or above, are also conducive at this time, experts said.
Although Sept. 10 was the peak of hurricane season, the Atlantic Ocean is expected to remain active for the near future.
There’s a tropical wave over the far eastern Atlantic, Invest 95L, that is expected to develop into a tropical depression or storm within days and make a long trek across the ocean in a general west-northwest direction, according to the National Hurricane Center.
“There is a high chance this system will become a tropical depression, then [a] tropical storm within the next couple of days as it passes south of the Cabo Verde Islands,” according to AccuWeather senior meteorologist Dan Kottlowski.
Forecasters are uncertain on the storm’s immediate future. It could fail to develop beyond a tropical storm, or it could trek west while continuing to head toward the far eastern Caribbean as it strengthens.
Also, an area of low pressure that is halfway between the Bahamas and Bermuda, Invest 96L, is expected to develop quickly and move north, then northwest, close to the North Carolina coast by Thursday night or Friday, and then perhaps northeast, away from the United States. But it could deliver heavy rain to parts of North Carolina as well as high surf to portions of the southeast and mid-Atlantic U.S. late this week.
“There is neither significant wind shear nor dry air around the system at this time, so there seems to be a little better than 50-50 chance it will develop as it drifts northwestward toward the southeastern coast of the United States during the middle part of this week,” AccuWeather meteorologist Bernie Rayno said.
Meanwhile, a tropical wave could emerge late this week off the coast of west Africa. It has a low chance of development in the next few days as it travels west-northwest.
The next named storms will be Odette and Peter.
Just past the halfway point of the hurricane season, which runs through Nov. 30, there have been 14 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes. A 14th named storm in the Atlantic, on average, doesn’t usually form until mid-November, according to experts.
With the formation of Tropical Storm Nicholas as a short-lived hurricane this week, 2021 became only the 10th year since 1966 to have had six or more Atlantic hurricanes by Sept. 13, according to Colorado State University expert Phil Klotzbach.
By Tuesday night, Nicholas had weakened into a tropical depression, but still posed the threat of potentially dangerous floods this week across the Gulf states. Rain could reach as far west as the Florida Panhandle, forecasters said.