COLUMBIA, S.C. — June 1 marks the beginning of hurricane season and the National Hurricane Center is already watching two disturbances for tropical development.
A disorganized cluster of thunderstorms between the Bahamas and Bermuda has a low, 10% chance of organizing by Friday before a disturbance over the United States carries it out to sea and shears the storm apart.
The bigger risk area for development comes from the remnants of Hurricane Agatha. Agatha was the earliest Eastern Pacific hurricane to make landfall on record. What's left of the storm is currently over the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. The National Hurricane Center gives this area a 70% chance of developing in the next 2 days and an 80% chance for development by the weekend. If this storm develops, it will be renamed Alex.
Why would the remnants of Agatha be renamed?
It's relatively unusual for storms to cross over from the Pacific into the Atlantic. It last happened in 2020 when Tropical Storm Amanda in the Pacific redeveloped into Cristobal in the Atlantic Basin. Amanda was renamed because the low level circulation of wind was torn apart by the mountainous terrain in Mexico. It's a similar situation for Agatha and has always been the case for Pacific storms that cross over to the Atlantic side.
However, some storms do successfully cross over from the Atlantic into the Pacific like Hurricane Otto in 2016, which was able to maintain it's low level circulation because it crossed over a narrow strip of central America.
Where will the remnants of Agatha - potentially "Alex" head next?
A storm system in the Central US will steer any tropical trouble far south of South Carolina, however the timing could place South Florida in the crosshairs for tropical downpours starting on Friday. Whether this storm organizes into a tropical depression, or into "Alex", it will bring the potential for soaking downpours in South Florida, the northern Caribbean, and the Bahamas for the weekend. Interests there should keep a close eye on the progress of the system.
The 2022 season is the first since 2014 to remain inactive until the start of the season. The season extends through November, but the tropics are most active from mid-July through mid-October.