Meteorologists are keeping a close eye on possible Atlantic storms – The Royal Gazette

Updated: August 29, 2022 09:55 am

The US-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s five-day tropical weather forecast.

Meteorologists today are monitoring several weather systems that could become tropical cyclones when the 2022 hurricane season begins.

Although this year’s season got off to a slow start with just three named storms so far, the season is still expected to be busier than average.

As of yesterday, the US-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was monitoring four areas for possible development.

The system most likely to strengthen was east of the Leeward Islands yesterday and moving west.

NOAA said: “Although environmental conditions are only marginally favorable, gradual development of this system is expected over the next few days and a tropical depression is likely to form later this week.”

“The disturbance is expected to move slowly west and then west-northwest at 5 to 10 miles per hour toward the adjacent waters of the northern Leeward Islands.”

NOAA estimated the system would become 50 percent tropical by Wednesday morning and escalate to 80 percent by Saturday morning.

The other systems tracked all had significantly lower odds of becoming named storms.

The one closest to the island — a small depression located 600 miles east of Bermuda — has a 10 percent chance of strengthening and becoming a named storm later in the week.

NOAA said, “Strong upper level winds and dry air are expected to limit significant development of this system as it drifts south and southwest across the central Atlantic over the next few days, and likely to dissipate by the end of the week.”

Meteorologists are also tracking a tropical wave off the west coast of Africa that could strengthen as it moves west across the Atlantic, and a low-pressure valley developing over the northwestern Caribbean Sea near the Yucatan Peninsula.

Marine heatwave map from Monday 9.30am. (Image from marineheatwaves.org)

North Atlantic waters have been experiencing a moderate to severe marine heatwave for more than a week, with seawater temperatures exceeding normal levels.

A spokeswoman for the Bermuda Weather Service said last week it was unsurprising to have an ocean heatwave given the weather the island has been experiencing in recent months.

“The sun is warming the sea surface the same way it is warming the land, just at a slower rate because of thermodynamics,” she said.

“The relationship between the ocean and the atmosphere is complicated and both influence each other in many ways; some more subtle than others.

“Bermuda, for example, does not often experience extremely hot or cold temperatures in our area due to the moderating effect of sea surface temperature.”

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