Storm could become Atlantic’s sixth tropical depression by next week

National Hurricane Center

A tropical wave rolling off the west coast of Africa could become a depression next week as it churns across the Atlantic, National Hurricane Center forecasters said Thursday.

Forecasters gave the system a 60 percent chance of forming over the next five days, warning it’s likely to encounter hurricane-generating conditions as it nears the eastern or central tropical Atlantic.

While that’s still far away, the hurricane season is nearing its busiest time of the year. The number of tropical storms and hurricanes on average begin to climb in mid August and peak by mid September, not good news for storm-battered South Florida. This week, rain hammered the region after sweltering heat collided with a low pressure system a day after Tropical Storm Emily landed on the west coast and swept across Central Florida.

peak storm map
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Forecasters are calling for the year to be above normal, with 11 to 17 named storms, five to nine hurricanes and at least two major hurricanes with winds topping 111 mph.

2017 hurricane forecast chart
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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