Keep an eye on these two.
As Tropical Storm Jose continues to circle in the Atlantic, posing minimal threat to land, a pair of rough-weather patches off the African coast, one now a tropical depression, are just two more indications that while Irma might be over, hurricane season is not.
“The peak of the hurricane season is mid-August through late October, and conditions remain favorable across the Atlantic basin for systems to form and strengthen,” said National Hurricane Center spokesman Dennis Feltgen.
Both systems are far out in the eastern Atlantic, still thousands of miles from South Florida. One of them became Tropical Depression 14 late Thursday.
“The depression is forecast to become a tropical storm later today or tomorrow,” forecaster Lixion Avila wrote in the hurricane center’s advisory Friday morning.
The next named tropical system would be called Lee.
The other system is being given a 40 percent chance of developing during the next two days and an 80 percent chance of developing during the next five days.
It’s too early to determine what impacts, if any, either would have on the U.S. or elsewhere. The National Hurricane Center’s latest tropical weather maps show both as heading generally toward the Caribbean. It’s not possible to forecast with any certainty where they would head beyond that. Both are still over 3,000 miles from South Florida.
Still, these two systems are showing early signs of becoming typical, peak hurricane-season storms. Called Cape Verde storms, these cyclones form from winds blowing off the African coast — often near the Cape Verde Islands, the Atlantic’s hurricane incubator.
After forming in the far Atlantic they march westward toward the Caribbean, gathering strength as they make the dayslong journey. They tend to travel north, sometimes toward the United States. Sometimes it’s a hard right turn, other times it’s a gradual drift.
“A common track runs from the far eastern Atlantic toward and onto the U.S.,” Feltgen said, referring to the cyclones that tend to form around this time.
So far this has been a busier-than-usual hurricane season but it remains to be seen if Florida will be hit by others after Hurricane Irma.
“Remember 2004 and 2005? Florida was hit with several hurricanes in each of those years, including Wilma in October 2005,” Feltgen said. “We still have two and half months to go in the hurricane season, so it is important to remain vigilant and prepared.”
And remember Jose? It is a tropical storm that is expected to regain hurricane strength and bring life-threatening rip currents to portions of the U.S. east coast but is not expected to threaten any portions of land in Florida or elsewhere in the U.S. Early Friday, Jose was located about 360 miles northeast of the Bahamas and had maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.
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