Two areas of low pressure over the tropical Atlantic have a chance of becoming cyclones this week, the National Hurricane Center said Sunday.
One system is 400 miles east-southeast of the Leeward Islands and is forecast to move toward the Lesser Antilles, then the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Hispaniola. It has a 50 percent chance of forming in the next two days and a 60 percent chance of forming in the next five days, as of the Hurricane Center’s 8 p.m. update.
The other low-pressure area is about halfway between the Cabo Verde Islands and the Lesser Antilles, and it is forecast to head west or west-southwest. That system has a 30 percent chance of forming in the next two days and a 40 percent chance of forming in the next five days.
Even if the systems formed into storms and headed toward Florida, models suggest that Florida wouldn’t see impacts from them for seven or eight days, said Stephen Shiveley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Tampa Bay office.
Current models show that the systems would be weak and pass by off the east coast of Florida, Shiveley said. But he noted that it’s too far out to expect models to predict what will happen with certainty.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said last week that there are expected to be 15 to 21 named storms this season, slightly up from the 13 to 20 storms predicted before the season began. Low wind shear, active African monsoons and a possible La Niña phenomenon led to the increase, according to government meteorologists.
There have been no tropical storms in the Atlantic since Elsa last month. The season’s next two named storms will be called Fred and Grace.
Shiveley noted that the hurricane season is ramping up right now.
Elsa was a reminder that “we need to be prepared all of hurricane season for a tropical system, potential impact,” he said.
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