Hurricane forecasters tracking what could become next tropical storm in the Atlantic –

The lull in the tropical Atlantic may be over.The National Hurricane Center on Thursday continued to…….


The lull in the tropical Atlantic may be over.

The National Hurricane Center on Thursday continued to track a system it said could become a tropical depression by this weekend.

The tropical wave was near the west coast of Africa as of Thursday afternoon but was expected to push into the eastern Atlantic later today, forecasters said.

Conditions appear “somewhat conducive” for it to gradually get more organized, and forecasters said a tropical depression could form by late Saturday or early Sunday while the disturbance is in the eastern Atlantic near the Cabo Verde Islands.

It’s expected to track to the west or west-northwest at about 15 mph.

The hurricane center raised the chances of it becoming a tropical depression in the next five days to 70 percent from 60 percent earlier today.

A storm has to have winds of at least 39 mph to get a name. The next name on the storm list is Fred.

The hurricane center is also watching another tropical wave, and this one is a bit closer to the U.S. but still not an immediate concern.

As of Thursday afternoon that disturbance was in the central Atlantic and appeared disorganized.

Forecasters said conditions will be “marginal” for it to strengthen and organize when it moves east of the Lesser Antilles early next week.

It has only a 20 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression in the next five days, which is unchanged from earlier today.

There are no other areas of concern in the tropical Atlantic as of Thursday.

However, the peak of the hurricane season is fast approaching.

NOAA updated its hurricane season forecast on Wednesday and raised slightly the predicted number of named storms and hurricanes.

Now 15 to 21 named storms will be possible, with seven to 10 of those becoming hurricanes and three to five strengthening to major (Category 3+) hurricanes.

Those numbers include the five named storms that have formed already. The last one was Elsa, the season’s only hurricane.

The Atlantic hurricane season ends on Nov. 30.

NOAA has adjusted its predictions upward slightly for the rest of the Atlantic hurricane season.