As we near the peak of the hurricane season in early September, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Tuesday (Aug. 13) that they are closely monitoring two areas in the Atlantic basin for tropical development.
The first area of concern was located in the Caribbean with cloudiness and showers in association with a westward-moving tropical wave, extending from Central America northeastward to near Jamaica.
The NHC says the upper-level winds are expected to become more favorable for development over the next couple of days while this disturbance moves toward the Yucatan Peninsula and the southern Gulf of Mexico. This system was given a medium chance or 30 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next five days.
The second area of concern was located just off the western coast of Africa.
Associated with a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms, this tropical wave is expected to be conducive for some development during the next few days until the wave enters a more stable environment by this weekend, according to the NHC. This system was given a low chance or 20 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next five days, while it moves westward and then west-northwestward at 10 mph.
The peak of the Atlantic hurricane season occurs around Sept. 10 with tropical activity normally ramping up during the latter half of August. This is historically the most dangerous period for hurricanes strikes in Mississippi.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration expects up to a total of 19 named storms to form by the end of this season (Nov. 30) with up to nine of those storms becoming hurricanes.
Four tropical storms have already formed in the Atlantic Basin this season. The fourth named storm on average does not typically form until Aug. 23.