Tracking the Tropics: Tropical Depression 20 forms in Atlantic, expected to become hurricane

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — With two months still left to go in the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season, the tropics are staying active – another tropical depression formed on Wednesday morning as Hurricane Sam continues to churn and forecasters track two other disturbances.

Tropical Depression 20

Tropical Depression 20 formed over the far eastern tropical Atlantic Wednesday. According to the National Hurricane Center, the system is about 535 miles south of the Cabo Verde Islands and is moving west-northwest at about 14 mph.

The depression currently has maximum sustained winds of 35 mph and is expected to steadily strengthen. The most recent forecast from the NHC has the depression becoming a tropical storm Wednesday night and a hurricane in the coming days.

As of right now, Tropical Depression 20 is not expected to impact the United States.

Hurricane Sam

Hurricane Sam is holding onto its strength, remaining a Category 4 hurricane with 130 maximum sustained winds as it churns in the Atlantic. According to the NHC, Sam’s intensity is expected to fluctuate in the coming days but the storm is forecast to stay a major hurricane through late this week.

Sam is about 405 miles east-northeast of the Northern Leeward Islands, as of Wednesday morning, and is moving northwest at about 9 mph. The storm is forecast to pass “well to the east-northeast” of the northern Leeward Islands through Wednesday night before making a turn toward the north by Friday.

Other areas to watch

Two disturbances are also being monitored for potential development in the coming days.

The first is a trough of low pressure that’s producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms several hundred miles southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands. It’s forecast to move to the west-northwest over the Atlantic in the coming days. As of Wednesday, the NHC believes development is less likely because of its interaction with a larger low pressure area.

The second area being watched is an area of low pressure that’s associated with the remnants of Tropical Storm Peter. According to the NHC, the disturbance is producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms several hundred miles south of Newfoundland’s coast. The system is currently moving to the northeast toward what the NHC calls a “region of very strong upper-level winds.” Significant development is not expected due to those winds.

Looking ahead

The next storm to form will get the name Victor. After that, just one name – Wanda – is left on this year’s list. Instead of moving on to the Greek alphabet this year, any additional storms will get names from an alternate list that was chosen by the World Meteorological Organization.

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