The peak of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season is here. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is busy tracking Larry still spinning in the Atlantic, approaching Newfoundland, and two potential storms brewing, one off the west coast of Africa and the other in the Caribbean Sea.
NHC said Larry has moved over portions of southeastern Newfoundland with maximum sustained winds around 80 mph, making it a Category one hurricane. The storm generated large swells for beach areas in the Northeast this week.
The first of the two potential storms is a tropical wave over Honduras, the western Caribbean Sea, and portions of the Yucatan peninsula. The system has a 40% chance of forming into a storm in the next 48 hours and 70% over five days.
The second strong tropical wave is emerging off the west coast of Africa Friday. NHC expects formation at around 50% over the next 48 hours and 70% in five days.
NHC said, "a tropical depression is likely to form late this weekend or early next week as the system moves west-northwestward over the far eastern Atlantic near the Cabo Verde Islands."
The two components needed for increased tropical activity in the back half of the season is warm ocean temperatures and low vertical wind shear:
"The warm water does two things: It creates the lower pressure and allows the atmosphere to be more unstable," said Dan Kottlowski, a hurricane expert at AccuWeather. "You have a better chance for thunderstorms to develop coherently around any rotating feature."
Low wind shear allows tropical waves to become organized storm systems and eventually increase the odds of becoming a hurricane.
Meteorologist Phil Klotzbach from Colorado State University tweeted Friday that the "climatological peak of the Atlantic hurricane season" is here.
Klotzbach said, "so far this year, the Atlantic is running ~130-160% of normal for most parameters including named storms, hurricanes and Accumulated Cyclone Energy."
The tropical wave that might organize the fastest is the one forming off the west coast of Africa