Mid-September is the climatic peak of hurricane season, but you wouldn't know it this year. With just four named storms so far, we are off to a relatively slow start. The National Hurricane Center forecasters have revised their predictions to a lower number of named storms, and many people are already considering this season a bust as far as hurricanes go.
Not so fast! There are currently two areas in the Atlantic basin that are being watched by the NHC. One is a an area of weak low pressure off the eastern coast of Florida. Although, the chances of that one becoming a named storm are only slight, forecasters are keeping an eye on it. Even without earning a name, it could bring lots of heavy rain to the Florida coast.
Way out in the Atlantic basin, closer to Africa than the Americas, is an area of showers and storms that has a better than 70% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone within the next 48 hours and a 90% chance over the next 5 days. This one has what it takes to become a named storm with warm ocean temperatures, movement to the north and northwest, plenty of moisture, and time to get organized.
Early forecast tracks take it across the Atlantic in a northwestern motion, but keep it well to the east of Bermuda. The keyword is "early". Historically, the majority of storms that form in September form in the area where this low currently sits. Many of them make it to the near Atlantic, but veer to the northeast before hitting land. Still enough make it to the mainland to warrant close scrutiny this time of year.
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Even if this particular cluster of showers does not become our next land-falling hurricane, it is a good idea to remember that it only takes one storm to make a disaster. The season is not over, and remaining in a state of hurricane preparedness never hurts.