COLUMBIA, S.C. — Today marks the climatological peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. Currently, there are four areas in the tropics being watched by the National Hurricane Center.
Gabrielle is still in the north Atlantic. It continues to weaken as it moves over colder waters. It became a post-tropical storm late Tuesday morning.
There are three other areas being monitored in the Atlantic, but none of them pose a threat to the United States right now.
A tropical wave just off the African coast is expected to move westward over the next several days. Some slow development is possible with this system over the next seven days, but it is far from any landmass. Forecasters give it a 20% chance of development over the next five days.
Another weak area of low pressure is more than 900 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. This area of disturbed weather is expected to slowly move westward over the next several days. The hurricane center gives this area a 20% chance of development over the next five days.
There is one area worth watching closer to home. A disturbance near the north coast of Hispaniola is expected to move west-northwest. It will produce rain across the Bahamas and parts of the Florida peninsula. Forecast models have indicated it may move into the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend and become more developed. Late Tuesday morning, the hurricane center increased the chance of this developing into a tropical system.
The climatological peak of the Atlantic hurricane season occurs is September 10. There is a secondary peak around the middle of October, which is mainly for the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico region.
After this second peak, the number of storms drops off quickly through the end of the season. However, hurricanes can occur anytime in the season, and in some cases outside the official season which is June 1 through November 30.
The NOAA released its updated hurricane season outlook, which now predicts 10 to 17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), with five to nine potentially becoming hurricanes (74 mph or higher). Back in May, the original outlook predicted nine to 15 named storms and four to eight hurricanes.