It’s just past the peak of hurricane season, and the tropics are teeming with activity as forecasters are monitoring three disturbances, two with high chances of becoming tropical depressions by this weekend.
And one of the disturbances is likely to have its effects felt on the U.S. East Coast, according to forecasters, delivering high surf and high winds during the weekend.
The first of the two disturbances to develop, though, will likely be the tropical wave out over the far eastern Atlantic, 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,” according to AccuWeather senior meteorologist Dan Kottlowski.
Invest 95L, could form into Tropical Storm Odette as it treks west-northwest across the Atlantic in the general direction of the far eastern Caribbean. But it’s too early to know where it may ultimately end up. As of 8 a.m. Friday, it was more than 1,100 miles west-southwest of the coast of Africa and moving west-northwest at 15-20 miles per hour.
The second disturbance was located about 150 miles east of Cape Hatteras, N.C., on Friday. It’s expected to move northeast, coming closest to the North Carolina coast by the weekend. Heavy rain and high surf is forecast for coastal North Carolina and areas to the north and south, stretching as far down as the north Georgia line.
If it develops into a tropical storm, it would be Peter.
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.
Meanwhile, another tropical wave has emerged from Africa’s coast and is moving west-northwest at 5 mph. Its odds of developing are currently low.
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.
On Friday, Post-tropical cyclone Nicholas drifted northwest into western Louisiana as flash flooding remains possible across parts of the central Gulf Coast into Saturday, according to forecasters.
On Friday morning, Nicholas was about 40 miles west-southwest of Alexandria, Louisiana, with maximum sustained winds of 15 mph and moving north at 7 mph. Flash flood watches are in effect from southeast Louisiana, across southern Mississippi and southern Alabama, and into the Florida Panhandle.
The National Weather Service said heavy rains were likely to last until Nicholas dissipates over Louisiana some time Friday. In Louisiana, the rainfall complicated an already difficult recovery at homes ripped open by Ida on Aug. 29. Thousands remain without power in Texas and Louisiana.
In Louisiana, the rain is forecast to linger for days.©2021 South Florida Sun Sentinel. Visit at sun-sentinel.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.