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  • Writer's pictureBryan Norcross

Odds are increasing that Wanda will form in the central Atlantic in the next few days

Hurricane season is still hanging on. The big North Atlantic non-tropical low-pressure system we’ve been tracking since it pounded New England early in the week is forecast to track south over warmer water in the next few days. It’s already carrying winds over 40 mph, so it will get the name Wanda if and when its structure meets the naming criteria.

When the system originally developed off the Northeast coast, it was a low-pressure system with fronts attached. A front is a line between air masses with contrasting temperatures. In this case, the cold front connected to the low was the line between the cold air from Canada off the land and the warm air over the ocean coming up from the south.

With the system now over warming water, there’s no longer a cold-air source. The separate air masses are losing their distinction and the line between them is likely to become indistinct. This leaves the original low-pressure system as an independent storm without fronts, which is one of the main criterion for it to get a name.

There are other criteria related to the system’s structure as well, which determine whether it is called fully tropical or hybrid. We call hybrid storms subtropical. In this case, the current North Atlantic system is likely to be named Subtropical Storm Wanda, assuming its fronts dissipate as expected.

In any case, it will move out into the North Atlantic and die by the end of the week.

On the other side of the Atlantic close to Africa, a weak system has formed. The computer forecast models have been indicating that was a possibility. It has a chance of developing into at least a tropical depression over the next few days.

It will move north and die out over colder water as well by the end of the week. It is not expected to be of any consequence.

On our side of the ocean, there is no sign that anything further is going to develop. There is disturbed weather in the extreme southern Caribbean, as there often is this time of year. But the pattern isn’t conducive for anything to develop on the Atlantic side of Central America.

So there’s certainly nothing of concern well into November, and probably not until next hurricane season. Probably being the key word.


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