A dormant August stretch of storm activity in the tropics is set to conclude as the National Hurricane Center is forecasting two disturbances off the west coast of Africa.
After a week and a half of quietude over the Atlantic Ocean, the 8 p.m. update described one area of low pressure in the east-central Atlantic and another in the eastern area of the body of water.
Both systems initially have been given a 20% chance of development over the next week.
Of the more centrally located area of interest, the National Hurricane Center wrote:
An “area of low pressure could develop by the middle to latter portion of this week over the east-central tropical Atlantic several hundred miles southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands. Some slow development of this system is also possible as it moves west-northwestward over the central tropical Atlantic.”
The second area was described as “an area of low pressure … forecast to develop in a few days over the far eastern Atlantic between the Cabo Verde Islands and the west coast of Africa. Some slow development of this system is possible later this week as it moves slowly west-northwestward or northwestward across the eastern Atlantic.”
The next named storm would be Emily.
The National Hurricane Center is now predicting an “above-normal” 2023 hurricane season, increasing the likelihood from only a 30% chance in its last outlook to a 60% chance going forward.
The update announced Thursday comes as a result of ongoing record-breaking sea surface temperatures that continue to fight off the tempering effects of El Niño.
While sea surface temperatures have remained hot for longer than anticipated, El Niño’s effects, which typically reduce hurricane chances, have emerged more slowly.
The NHC, which operates under the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, is now calling for 14-21 named storms, including 6-11 hurricanes, and two to five major hurricanes.