TAMPA, FL — Meteorologists at the National Hurricane Center are keeping a close watch on a tropical wave in the Atlantic Ocean that is showing some promise of developing more over the next five days.
As of Thursday afternoon, the system of “disorganized cloudiness and showers” extended from the Cabo Verde Islands off the west coast of Africa southwestward across the Atlantic. “Slow development is possible over the next several days,” the center wrote in its 2 p.m. July 27 Tropical Weather Outlook report. The system is moving in a westerly direction at roughly 5 to 10 mph. Forecasters have given the disturbance about a 30 percent chance of forming more over the next 5 days.
Should the system develop enough to earn a name, it would be called Emily. The storm would be the fifth named of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs through Nov. 30.
Although it’s still too early to tell if the latest disturbance will have an impact on Florida, or any part of the U.S. coastline, it stands as a reminder of the need to be prepared, especially with the peak of hurricane season yet to come.
Season’s Peak On The Horizon
Hurricane season technically lasts from June 1 to Nov. 30, but forecasters call the period between mid-August and mid-October the “season within the season.” This eight-week stretch “is often the most active and dangerous time for tropical cyclone activity,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The peak is historically responsible for major spikes in tropical weather activity, NOAA said. In fact, it accounts for roughly 78 percent of all tropical storm days on record. It is also the period when 87 percent of the category 1 and 2 hurricane days on record occurred. In addition, this period is responsible for “a whopping 96 percent of the major (category 3, 4 and 5) hurricane days.”
So, what makes this eight-week stretch so…