The National Hurricane Center is concerned that both tropical disturbances could pose threats to land, including in the United States. Should both systems develop into Tropical depressions or storms later this week, they would get the next two names on this year’s list – Laura and Marco.
There is a definite warming trend going on in the tropical Atlantic, with abnormally warm sea surface temperatures that will provide fue lfor the development of the systems. An enhanced La Niña Watch has also been issued, which could further strengthen hurricane activity.
The National Weather Service climate Prediction Center issued the La Nina watch on August 13, 2020, saying there is about a 60 percent chance of La Niña development during the Northern Hemisphere’s fall 2020 and continuing through winter 2020-21.
National #Hurricane Center has 2 areas with 50% chance of tropical cyclone formation in next five days in the tropical Atlantic. If they get named, they will be Laura and Marco. Current record dates for earliest 12th and 13th Atlantic named storm are August 29 and September 2. pic.twitter.com/MmvuPf7Ksh
— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) August 17, 2020
A look at the two disturbances
The disturbance most likely to develop into tropical storm Laura is located 900 miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands. This system now has an 80 percent chance of developing into a tropical storm within the next 48 hours and a 90 percent chance of developing in the next five days, according to the National Hurricane Center 8 p.m. advisory.
The system is moving to the west-northwestward at 15 to 20 mph across the central and western portions of the tropical Atlantic. Interests in the Lesser Antilles should monitor the progress of this system. “We expect the system to be near the Leeward Islands some time on Friday or Saturday as a strong tropical storm,” AccuWeather’s top hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski said.
Low pressure area in the central tropical Atlantic currently has 70% chance of tropical cyclone development in next 48 hours per National #Hurricane Center. If it gets named, it would be Laura. Current record for earliest Atlantic 'L' storm is Luis on August 29, 1995. pic.twitter.com/hxDtJUul4P
— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) August 18, 2020
The second system is located north of Venezuela in the Caribbean sea, and is not an immediate threat. Significant development of this system is unlikely during the next day or so while it moves quickly westward at about 20 mph across the eastern and central Caribbean Sea.
However, the system is forecast to slow down a bit as it moves west-northwestward, and a tropical depression is likely to form late this week or this weekend when the system reaches the northwestern Caribbean Sea. At that time, there is an 80 percent chance of further development into a tropical depression or storm.
Although it is too early to tell with certainty, both systems appear to be on track to impact the US mainland by next week and are being monitored closely by the National Hurricane Center.