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Two Systems With Development Potential Heading Toward Caribbean Islands as Atlantic Ocean Gets Busy

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Two systems forming in the Atlantic Ocean with continued development potential are traveling to toward the Caribbean islands — the first toward the southern Windward Islands and the second facing the Leeward Islands, according to data and projections from the National Hurricane Center.

Central Tropical Atlantic

According to N.H.C., shower and thunderstorm activity has increased in association with a tropical wave located about 950 miles east-southeast of the southern Windward Islands. Environmental conditions appear conducive for further development, and a tropical depression is likely to form during the next couple of days before the system reaches the Windward Islands Tuesday night or possibly while moving westward across the southern Caribbean Sea Wednesday through Friday.

A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate the system this afternoon. Interests in the Windward Islands and along the northeastern coast of Venezuela should monitor the progress of this system, and tropical storm watches or warnings could be required for portions of these areas later today. Regardless of development, locally heavy rainfall is possible over the Windward Islands and the northeastern coast of Venezuela Tuesday night and Wednesday.

N.H.C. reported a 70 percent development chance in the next 48 hours, which is high, and 90 percent through the next five days.

Eastern Tropical Atlantic 

The National Hurricane Center on Monday morning at 2:00 a.m. reported that a tropical wave located several hundred miles southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands is producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms.

Environmental conditions could become conducive for gradual development later this week while the system moves west-northwestward at around 15 mph over the central tropical Atlantic.

The system is not expected to develop in the next 48 hours, and the five-day forecast remains low at 20 percent. 

2022 Hurricane Season

Forecasters at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service have predicted above-average hurricane activity this year, which would make it the seventh consecutive above-average hurricane season.

NOAA’s outlook for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, which extends from June 1 to November 30, predicts a 65 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 25 percent chance of a near-normal season and a 10 percent chance of a below-normal season.

According to the release, for the 2022 hurricane season, NOAA is forecasting a likely range of 14 to 21 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA provides these ranges with a 70 percent confidence.

“Early preparation and understanding your risk is key to being hurricane resilient and climate-ready,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “Throughout the hurricane season, NOAA experts will work around-the-clock to provide early and accurate forecasts and warnings that communities in the path of storms can depend on to stay informed.”

The increased activity anticipated this hurricane season is attributed to several climate factors, including the ongoing La Niña that is likely to persist throughout the hurricane season, warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds and an enhanced west African monsoon, NOAA said. An enhanced west African monsoon supports stronger African Easterly Waves, which seed many of the strongest and longest lived hurricanes during most seasons. The way in which climate change impacts the strength and frequency of tropical cyclones is a continuous area of study for NOAA scientists.

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