The new disturbance isn’t even off the coast of Africa yet but was tagged by the National Hurricane Center with a 20% chance of development over five days.
The large area of showers and thunderstorms is located over Guinea and could find an environment to bolster activity after it enters the far eastern Atlantic on Friday. After that, forecasters don’t give it much chance, as it zooms west at 15 to 20 mph toward the tropical Atlantic.
Already on the hurricane center’s radar are Invests 97L and 98L, both of which have high chances of development and are expected to become tropical depressions this week.
The next names on the 2020 hurricane list are Laura, Marco and Nana.
Laura and Marco could form on or near the same day with 97L forecast to spin up as it nears the Yucatan Peninsula and Gulf of Mexico.
Behind it, 98L is expected to develop east of the Lesser Antilles.
AccuWeather senior hurricane forecaster Dan Kottlowski said 97L isn’t as well organized as 98L and may succumb to wind shear as it nears Central America.
But 98L is forecast by AccuWeather to reach at least tropical storm status as it’s guided west-northwest under the Bermuda High.
“This feature is over warm water and is in a zone of moist air with low wind shear and could be dubbed a tropical depression on Wednesday or Thursday,” Kottlowski said. “Once reaching tropical depression status, ongoing conditions should allow for additional strengthening into a tropical storm.”
The National Hurricane Center won’t start issuing track forecasts until a cyclone forms or is expected to form close to land, but Kottlowski believes 98L will track east of Florida or into the Gulf of Mexico.
But there are still many variables. If 98L hits the mountains of Hispaniola, it could weaken.
It’s going to be up to the jet stream to determine the path of 98L. The sweeping river of air high in the atmosphere is expected to dip south, possibly weakening the Bermuda High. A weaker Bermuda High would allow the storm to curve northward over the Bahamas. A stronger Bermuda High could force it into the Gulf of Mexico.
“A track into the Gulf of Mexico is a significant possibility at this point,” Kottlowski said.
Source: USA TODAY
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