ORLANDO, Fla. — A tropical wave in the Atlantic now has 100% chance to become the season’s next tropical depression or storm this week as it heads toward the Caribbean, according to the National Hurricane Center.
In its 2 p.m. tropical outlook, the NHC said satellite imagery shows an area of low pressure has formed from a tropical wave about 700 miles west-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. Its low-level circulation has become more defined since Saturday with increased organization of its showers and thunderstorms.
“Environmental conditions are forecast to be conducive for further development, and this system is expected to become a tropical depression or a tropical storm in a day or two,” forecasters said. “Additional strengthening is likely late this week while the system moves westward to west-northwestward at 15 to 20 mph over the central and western portions of the tropical Atlantic.”
The NHC gives it a 90% chance to form in the next two days and 100% in the next seven.
If it grows into named-storm status it could become Tropical Storm Lee, the 12th named system of the recently busy 2023 hurricane season.
Its projected path has it approaching the northern Leeward Islands before the weekend, but potentially curling to the north.
The NHC also increased the odds a new tropical wave will grow after it moves off the coast of Africa this week.
“Environmental conditions should support some slow development, and a tropical depression could form over the far eastern tropical Atlantic around the latter part of the week or the weekend while the wave moves to the west-northwest at about 15 mph,” the NHC said.
The NHC gives it a 50% chance to form in the next seven days.
After Lee, the next name on the list is Margot.
Also new on Monday, the NHC restarted keeping tabs on Post-Tropical Cyclone Franklin, now several hundred miles north of the Azores, but forecast to move southeast to the warmer waters near the islands.
“This system could acquire some subtropical or tropical characteristics late this week or this weekend while it moves erratically between the Azores and Portugal,” forecasters said.
The NHC gives it 20% chance to reform in the next seven days.
Also on Monday, what had been Tropical Storm Gert finally fell apart in the mid-Atlantic with the NHC giving its last advisory at 11 a.m., and Tropical Depression Katia was forecast to become a remnant low by Monday night.