A system off Africa is expected to merge with another system to its west and then become a tropical depression late this week or weekend that could potentially head in the general direction of the eastern Caribbean.
Its odds of development are at 20% in the next two days and 70% within the next seven days, according to the latest advisory Thursday from the National Hurricane Center.
Forecasters also have their eyes on a non-tropical low that is expected to form Florida’s east coast early Friday, and eventually move north toward North Carolina. The developing low will cause heavy rainfall and possible flooding this week in South Florida before moving north.
The non-tropical low off the east coast of Florida is currently disorganized, but has the potential to develop into a storm with cyclonic circulation, Will Redman of the National Weather Service said Wednesday. National Hurricane Center forecasters said they system has a 30% chance of developing in the next two days and a 40% chance within the next seven days as of early Thursday.
As a result of the offshore low, South Florida will be increasingly stormy as the week continues, said National Weather Service Miami meteorologist Robert Garcia. Once the low moves north, there could be a drying trend for the weekend.
“The big thing we’ll need to watch through the week is a chance of heavy rainfall and maybe even flooding, and strong wind gusts from the thunderstorms that could develop,” Garcia said. Flooding could occur through Friday, he said.
“Regardless of development, this low is likely to bring gusty winds to gale force, heavy rain, and high surf to portions of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic United States late this week and into this weekend,” the National Hurricane Center said.
Meanwhile, a fast-moving Hurricane Nigel was maintaining as a Category 1 storm with 85 mph winds early Thursday, located about 495 miles southeast of Newfoundland, Canada. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from Nigel’s center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles.
Swells from Nigel which have been affecting Bermuda are expected to subside by Thursday night, forecasters said. Nigel is forecast to downgrade to a post-tropical cyclone by Friday.
The NHC, which operates under the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, has forecast 14 to 21 named storms for the 2023 Atlantic season and six to 11 hurricanes, two to five of which would be major hurricanes.
So far this season in the Atlantic, there have been 14 named storms, six of which were hurricanes. Of those, three were major hurricanes, meaning Category 3 or above.
Those were Hurricane Lee, a rare Category 5; Hurricane Franklin, a Category 4; and Hurricane Idalia, which made landfall on Florida’s Big Bend region at Category 3 strength on Aug. 30.
The next named storm would be Ophelia.
Hurricane season officially runs through Nov. 30.
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