AccuWeather: A disturbance spinning over the middle of the Atlantic organized enough to be named Tropical Depression 11 at 5 p.m. EDT Tuesday, according to the National Hurricane Center. AccuWeather meteorologists expect it to go on to strengthen into a tropical storm, becoming another one for the record books.
Tropical Depression 11, which began as a batch of heavy storms that forecasters have been monitoring for days, was moving to the west-northwest at 16 mph and was located 1,450 miles to the east of the Lesser Antilleson Tuesday. The system’s maximum sustained winds were 35 mph.
“There is a medium to high chance that Tropical Depression 11 becomes the next tropical storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season,” said AccuWeather’s top hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski.
The next name on the list of tropical storms for this year in the Atlantic is Josephine.
Since this feature could become a tropical storm in the next few days, it could shatter the early-season formation record for the J-named storm in the basin. The current record belongs to Jose, which developed on Aug. 22, 2005.
Tropical storms are named for most letters of the alphabet, with the exception of U, X, Y and Z. The infamous 2005 Atlantic hurricane season holds the record for the greatest number of named storms at 28 and still holds the record for early-season formation records for the “K-storm,” which was Katrina on Aug. 24, as well as the letters M through T, V and W. After W, Greek letters are used. Since 2005 was the only year to use Greek letters, that season holds the early-season formation records beyond W.
However, the 2020 hurricane season as already left its mark on the history books multiple times so far with storms Cristobal, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna and Isaias all setting early-season formation records. Except for Cristobal, the storms bumped off record-setters from the 2005 season. The prior earliest C-named storm was Colin from 2016.
“Conditions will be favorable for development and some strengthening into the end of this week and it has an opportunity to become Tropical Storm Josphine,” Kottlowski said.
“We expect this system to move on a curved path to the west-northwest and then to the northwest in the coming days,” Kottlowski stated.
This projected path could take the systems relatively close to the Leeward Islands in the northeastern part of the Caribbean.
“Until the system fully develops, the long-range path might be misleading and all interests in the Lesser Antilles, especially the Leeward Islands should closely monitor the progress of this system,” Kottlowski said.
A weaker, poorly-organized system, such as a depression is more likely to drift more to the west, but a stronger, better-organized system, such as a strong tropical storm or hurricane, is more likely to turn more to the northwest over time.
The clock may be ticking on the depression’s lifespan as the system is forecast to move in a general direction of increasing wind shear and some dry air during the weekend.