A tropical wave rolling toward the Windward Islands could become a tropical depression or storm in the next day or two, but that looked a little less likely Wednesday afternoon, National Hurricane Center forecasters said.
Circulation around the system, located about 850 miles from the west coast of Africa in the Central Atlantic, is becoming better defined, forecasters said. However, thunderstorms that can signal a storm’s growing strength remained disorganized, they said, and after two days, the storm will encounter drier air that makes it harder for a tropical cyclone to form.
In a 2 p.m. advisory, forecasters dropped the odds of a storm forming by Friday from 70 percent to 60 percent.
If it gains enough intensity, the system could be named Don, the fourth named storm in a season already off to an early start. Last month, the Atlantic basin generated two tropical storms in a single week, a rarity so early in the season. Tropical Storm Bret became the earliest on record to form east of the Antilles.
When the Atlantic fires up so early in the season that lasts through November, busy months likely follow, said Colorado State meteorologist Phil Klotzbach.
On Wednesday Klotzbach, who earlier predicted a slower season based in part on cooler ocean temperatures in the Atlantic, revised his forecast up to fall in line with a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration prediction for an above average season. Klotzbach is calling for 15 named storms, eight hurricanes and three major hurricanes with winds topping 111 mph.