Watching a new disturbance in the Atlantic Ocean and southeastern US waters this week

As we frequently discuss in this newsletter, hurricane season activity does not conform to the calendar. While the calendar says we’re halfway through the 6-month hurricane season on September 1st, history tells us we still have another 70% of storm activity left at the beginning of September.

But in September, Mother Nature quickly catches up with the calendar, as we’re currently seeing, with three hurricanes forming in the Atlantic in just a few weeks. This week, historic storm activity finally hit the calendar — both telling us we’re at 60% through the season — and by the end of the month, we’ll be down 80% of seasonal activity. But don’t overlook October, which is the month most likely to experience a hurricane in South Florida.

Potential development near home late week

The cold front that brought the first taste of fall across much of the southeastern United States as far south as North Florida will stall across the South Florida peninsula this week.

Along this stalled frontal boundary, a low pressure area is expected to form near the Bahamas by late week. Models indicate some development potential as this low pressure system rises north toward the Carolinas and the mid-Atlantic on the weekend.

Whatever the shape, it will move from top to bottom instead of bottom to top as tropical systems do, so the low pressure area will be non-tropical to begin with. Eventually, it may acquire tropical characteristics as thunderstorms organize.

Although the system will move away from South Florida, it will contribute to an unstable and brisk weather pattern this week, and a cold pocket rising from the original upper level lows could increase severe weather chances by late week.

Regardless of developments, this week’s main impacts from the system will be gusty onshore winds along the Southeast by late week into the weekend, which could bring rough surf and potential coastal flooding depending on the strength of the low. Interests along the Southeast coast from Florida’s Space Coast north to the Carolinas should monitor the forecast this week.

Nigel is now a cyclone, set to intensify rapidly, but there is no threat to land

Overnight, Nigel became the sixth hurricane of the busy Atlantic hurricane season over the open mid-Atlantic. For context, the sixth Atlantic hurricane usually does not form until mid-October.

Nigel is expected to rapidly strengthen into a Category 3 hurricane this week, making it the fourth major hurricane (Category 3 or stronger) of the season. Fortunately, the hurricane will move sharply into the North Atlantic Ocean east of Bermuda and pose no threat to land.

A new Atlantic disturbance will likely form west of Africa later this week

Another strong tropical wave is scheduled to roll out of Africa by mid-week. As we discussed in Friday’s newsletter, conditions look favorable for development and the NHC raised the odds of formation to high Monday morning for a new tropical depression or storm (either Ophelia or Philip) by the end of the week.

The system will take a westward track and will not turn immediately as it strengthens next week, so we will need to keep an eye on it. Fortunately, there is still a long way to go before it becomes a concern, if at all.

Low pressure tracks until Saturday morning, September 23, 2023 from the European Community Modeling System. Models show slow development late into the weekend as the system moves toward the west-northwest. Credit:

Lee no longer

Lee — a powerful Category 5 hurricane whose journey we recorded for more than two weeks — blasted through southeastern Canada and northeastern Maine over the weekend, downing trees and knocking out power to more than 200,000 people across Maine, Nova Scotia, and New York. Brunswick.

While the hurricane became an extratropical cyclone only 12 hours before crossing into Canada, it remained a large and powerful storm. Winds gusted up to 83 mph in far eastern Maine and up to 56 mph at Bangor International Airport. Maximum rainfall totals in Maine were generally about 4 to 6 inches to the east.

Although storm surge was a minor issue for Maine’s rocky coast, spray and runoff from large, pounding waves inundated coastal roads across parts of offshore Canada. A low pressure system is accelerating across the North Atlantic today and will merge with a larger storm system approaching Ireland and the UK tomorrow into Wednesday.

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(Signs for translation) Hurricane

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