Hurricane center tracks new system off Florida coast with chance to develop
Published in Weather News
ORLANDO, Fla. — The National Hurricane Center updated its tropical outlook warning of a new system with the chance to become more organized into a threatening storm.
In its 2 p.m. EDT Wednesday update, now looking out seven days, the NHC said a non-tropical area of low pressure is expected to form within the next few days along a front offshore of the southeastern U.S. with an area of concern in the Atlantic off of Florida’s northeast coast.
“The system appears unlikely to become a subtropical or tropical cyclone since it is forecast to remain frontal while moving generally northward and inland over the Carolinas this weekend,” said NHC hurricane specialist Brad Reinhart.
Whether or not it forms into anything with circulation, the system is expected to produce gusty winds and dangerous surf and rip conditions along the coast, which could bode dangerous for the busy Memorial Day weekend.
“Heavy rainfall is expected in portions of the Carolinas, and hazardous marine conditions are expected over the coastal and offshore waters where gale watches and warnings are in effect,” Reinhart said.
The NHC gives the system a 10% chance of formation into a tropical or subtropical depression or storm in the next seven days.
The official start of the Atlantic hurricane season isn’t until June 1, and runs for six months through Nov. 30, but early storm formation has become the norm in the last two decades. In fact, the NHC analyzed data from earlier in the year noting the Atlantic already had a subtropical storm in January.
That means the next tracked system will become Tropical or Subtropical Depression Two, and if it were to form into a tropical or subtropical storm, would take the name Arlene.
The hurricane outlook for the Atlantic is slightly below average for 2023 according to several meteorological outlets such as Colorado State University.
The annual forecast released in April authored by CSU expert Dr. Phil Klotzbach expects the year to see 13 named systems with six becoming hurricanes. Of those six, two are forecast to become major hurricanes, either a Category 3, 4 or 5 with at least 111 mph sustained winds.
That falls a little below what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration now deems as average over the past three decades of 14 named storms, of which seven are hurricanes and three are major ones.
Last year’s season, which had both Hurricane Ian and Nicole striking Florida, was around that average with 14 named storms, eight hurricanes and two major hurricanes. That was much less storm activity than the record-breaking 2020 season that saw 30 storms, and the 21 storms that formed in 2021.
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