Hurricane center watches system, moving toward warm waters, that may become tropical depression

Joe Mario Pedersen, Orlando Sentinel on

Published in Weather News

An Atlantic disturbance was hanging in there Friday morning retaining its potential of becoming the next tropical depression as it moves through an area ripe for for development, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The non-tropical low pressure system is a few hundred miles south-southwest of Cape Race, Newfoundland, the NHC said in its 2 a.m. update. The low can’t shake off a cold front, which is preventing the low from becoming tropical . Although meteorologists are expecting the low to move north-northeastward over warmer waters this weekend in the central Atlantic where it could acquire some limit sub-tropical characteristics.

Models forecast a 20% chance of the system becoming a tropical depression in the next two days, and 30% chance by the end of the week, but moving eastward or southeastward over the central Atlantic. The system will not impact Florida.

If the storm develops maximum sustained winds of 40 mph or more, it will become a tropical or subtropical storm, receiving the name Wanda — it is also the last name on the World Meteorological Organization’s regular-season list. If there is another named storm after Wanda, the WMO will activate its auxiliary list, starting with Adria. The WMO retired from using Greek letters earlier this year because of confusion caused by similar-sounding letters: Zeta, Eta, and Theta.

The Atlantic has been quiet for the last two weeks since Hurricane Sam’s long trek through the Atlantic and became a post-tropical storm on Oct. 5.


There have been 20 named storms this year.

Not a single major hurricane has formed since Sept. 25 with the formation of Hurricane Sam. There’s only been one other time in tropics history, 1977, where a major hurricane, a storm of Category 3 strength or higher, has not been formed between Sept. 26 to Oct. 28 — which is part of the tail-end of the peak of hurricane season, according to Philip Klotzbach, a meteorologist with Colorado State University.

At this same point last year, meteorologists were keeping track of 27 named storms with Epsilon and Zeta spinning in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. The latter struck Louisiana on Oct. 28 as a Category 3 major hurricane causing $1.25 billion in damages, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


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