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Hurricane center says east Atlantic wave could become next tropical depression

Orlando Sentinel logoOrlando Sentinel 8/10/2022 Joe Mario Pedersen, Orlando Sentinel

A tropical wave is brewing in the eastern Atlantic and the National Hurricane Center is keeping its eyes on it as forecasters predict the wave could be this season’s next tropical depression.

A wave that emerged off the coast of Africa early Monday is continuing to produce a large area of disorganized cloudiness and thunderstorms a few hundred miles south-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands, the NHC said in its 2 a.m. Tuesday update.

Forecasters give the system a 20% chance of forming in the next two days and a 40% chance in the next five days. The system is moving west between 15 and 20 mph across the eastern Atlantic. Hurricane specialists are also predicting the wave could become a tropical depression either by Wednesday or the latter part of the week. After that, the wave faces a number of challenges to its development including the dry air of the Saharan dust resting over the mid Atlantic and covering the Caribbean as well as Florida.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its midseason forecast update last week. It is still expecting an above-average number of storms, which it had predicted ahead of the season’s start, with a range of 14 to 21 named storms.

The hurricane season runs from June 1-Nov. 30 has produced three named systems: Tropical Storm Alex, Bonnie, and Colin.

The last two years have been among the busiest in recorded history, with 2020 producing a record 30 named systems and 2021 running through all 21 of the NHC’s standard hurricane season of named systems.

The next name on the 2022 name list is Danielle. This season, the NHC has had to issue advisories on systems ahead of official naming, referring to what became Tropical Storm Alex, for instance, as Potential Tropical Cyclone One. That unnamed system dumped rain on Florida as it passed over the peninsula in June, leaving many parts of Miami under nearly a foot of water.

The NHC has not issued a tropical advisory since Tropical Storm Colin fizzled on July 3.

Orlando Sentinel staff writer Richard Tribou contributed to this report.

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