• Bryan Norcross

Tropical Storm Peter and a new Tropical Depression form in the Atlantic

Tropical Storm Peter has formed out the disturbance we’ve been following across the tropical Atlantic. It finally has an organized circulation that meets the standard, and top winds are estimated to have reached 40 mph. Peter is fighting somewhat hostile upper winds and dry air, so it’s not a well-developed system.



The center of Peter’s circulation is forecast to pass north of the northeastern Caribbean islands tomorrow and Monday. On the projected path, the worst weather would stay well north of the islands, but, as always, there is added uncertainty in the forecast because the system is just developing.


The environment around Peter is forecast to continue to be marginal, so it is not expected to strengthen swiftly or significantly. By Tuesday, the upper-level winds are predicted to become more hostile as the steering currents weaken. Then mid to late week, the consensus of the forecast models is that a new steering regime will take over and deflect the system to the north well east of the Bahamas and Florida.


Because of where the system is in the ocean, we have to keep an eye on it to be sure nothing goes wrong with the forecast. But as of now, there is no reason for concern.



New Tropical Depression Seventeen has formed out the disturbance near Africa. The only land it is likely to affect is the Cabo Verde Islands as it drives north into a lot of dry air.


The National Hurricane Center is forecasting the depression to strengthen a little and become Tropical Storm Rose. Looking ahead, the environment looks marginal at best, so it’s not expected to last very long or get very strong.



Later today, another disturbance is forecast emerge from Africa. It looks like this one will be farther south in the tropical-development zone. The computer forecast models are in complete disagreement on how the pattern will evolve. We’ll see if the forecasts converge once it’s over the ocean and has some degree of organization.



The yellow area on the map is the National Hurricane Center’s best estimate of where the new disturbance might develop as it moves west over the tropical Atlantic. It’s confusing because it will be plowing the same patch of ocean where Tropical Depression Seventeen is now, but Seventeen will have moved away to the north by the time the disturbance arrives.


The system that was Tropical Storm Odette is now a strong North Atlantic winter-type storm. There is some chance that it could drop down over warmer water and briefly become somewhat tropical again. It would still likely head out to sea, however.


For a while, it seems we’ll have a traffic jam in the middle of the Atlantic as all these systems compete for space. If they all end up reasonably strong, they’ll interact in unpredictable ways, but for now it looks like all of the action will stay far away from land.


A huge dip in the jet stream is forecast to set up over the eastern part of the U.S. late this week. These things are a mixed bag. On one hand, they drive cold fronts to the south, and sometimes even push an early-season front through South Florida – though there’s no sign of that yet. On the other hand, they set up conducive conditions for tropical systems to develop in the Caribbean, and sometimes help pull them north.


It’s a sign that the season is about to change. Soon we’ll focus on systems in the Caribbean more than the eastern Atlantic.