Tropical depression could form late this week from disturbance in the western Caribbean
Chances are increasing that an area of low pressure expected to form in the western…
Chances are increasing that an area of low pressure expected to form in the western Caribbean will turn into the 2020 hurricane season’s next tropical cyclone.
The National Hurricane Center is giving the area tucked between Cuba and Central America a 50 percent chance of developing over the next five days, and said a tropical depression could form late this week or over the weekend.
With just medium chances of development, it’s still to early to know where anything that forms may track, and models are having trouble coming to consensus on what might happen.
But this is an area of the Atlantic basin to watch for hot spots in October.
AccuWeather hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski said a Central American Gyre will cause the area of low pressure to form that could eventually develop into something tropical.
Gyres are often responsible for spin-ups this time of year. A gyre was the impetus for Tropical Storm Narda, which formed in early October 2019, and 2018’s Hurricane Michael was born out of a small-scale area of low pressure that became embedded in a large gyre over Central America.
“It does look like something could develop in early October and that could come north toward Florida,” Kottlowski said. “Look at a plot of where all the storms made landfall this year and you’ll see the Florida Peninsula sticks out like a sore thumb as far as nothing touching it yet.”
The next name on the 2020 hurricane list is Gamma followed by Delta.
The traditional list of hurricane names was exhausted this month, forcing the hurricane center to dig into the Greek alphabet for only the second time.
Hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30, but got an early start this year with Tropical Storms Arthur and Bertha, both of which formed in May. There are 21 names on the six-year rotating list of storm names. The names end with the letter W and exclude Q, U, X, Y and Z.
Through mid-September, 23 named storms had formed, including one subtropical storm, 14 tropical storms and eight hurricanes. Of the eight hurricanes, Laura and Teddy grew to major storms of Category 3 or higher. Laura was a Cat 4 with 150 mph winds at landfall in Louisiana on Aug. 28.
Florida remains vulnerable through October to tropical systems.
Jeff Weber, a research meteorologist at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, said while Sept. 10 is the peak of hurricane season for most states, it’s not true for Florida.
“If you look at climatology, most of the storms this time of year will form near the Yucatan around Cuba and then they often times migrate northward,” Weber said. “So when they form south of Florida they tend to run north and into the Peninsula.”
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: UPDATE: Tropical depression could form late this week from disturbance in the western Caribbean