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More tropical activity expected for the already record-breaking Atlantic season

By Maura Kelly, Accuweather.com
A disturbance moving along a cold front in the southeastern United States is being monitored for strengthening this week. This front is part of the same system that absorbed Tropical Rainstorm Laura. Photo courtesy National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
A disturbance moving along a cold front in the southeastern United States is being monitored for strengthening this week. This front is part of the same system that absorbed Tropical Rainstorm Laura. Photo courtesy National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

With the dissipation of former Hurricane Laura, the Atlantic tropical basin has settled down. But, this quiet period isn't expected to last long as AccuWeather meteorologists will be monitoring multiple areas for tropical development this week as we approach the climatological peak of hurricane season.

A disturbance moving along a cold front in the southeastern United States is the first area being monitored for strengthening this week. This front is part of the same system that absorbed Tropical Rainstorm Laura after it helped to fuel areas of heavy rain and severe thunderstorms to the Northeast on Saturday.

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This tropical disturbance emerged off the coast of northern Florida early in the day on Sunday and forecast to move into an area of low wind shear and warm water.

"The first and most immediate threat for development is tracking away from Florida and will move along the Southeast coast of the United States early this week," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Adam Douty.

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"This feature is expected to become better organized and can develop into a tropical depression by the middle of the week as it passes between the East Coast and Bermuda," added Douty.

Through the second half of the week, the storm is forecast to track to the northeast into the northern Atlantic Ocean. If a non-tropical storm system is able to pull this tropical feature farther north, it could bring impacts to Atlantic Canada late this week.

"Other than an increase in surf and showers along the Carolina coast on Monday and Tuesday, this does not appear to be a significant threat to the United States," Douty said.

Another area being monitored for tropical development is a tropical wave, or disturbance, that moved into the eastern Caribbean on Saturday.

This disturbance is quickly organizing as it tracks through an area conducive for tropical development. Warm waters of the Caribbean Sea and an area of low wind shear over the region could allow this feature to develop into a tropical depression by the beginning of the week.

Regardless of development, this feature will bring tropical downpours and gusty winds to the Caribbean as it tracks toward Central America through Wednesday.

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A third area will be monitored for tropical development later this week after a tropical wave moves off the the coast of Africa. According to Douty, this feature could develop into a tropical depression around the end of week or into the weekend.

AccuWeather forecasters will continue to monitor this area for intensity as it tracks across the Atlantic and toward the Lesser Antilles into next week.

September is typically the busiest month for tropical storm development, and the peak date for tropical activity is usually around Sept. 10. Over the past 100 years on this date, there have been more than 90 active named storms.

The 2020 season has already brought 13 named storms, which is not only well ahead of the average pace, but also in record territory, even surpassing the infamous 2005 season. The year 2005 brought Katrina, Rita and Wilma. This year, Cristobal and all the storms from Edouard through Marco set early season formation records for their respective letters.

Thus far, Laura has had the most devastating impact on the United States and also left more than 20 dead in the Caribbean as it unleashed heavy flooding rain in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Puerto Rico.

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The next names on the list for 2020 are Nana and Omar. With development chances for these two storms currently at less than 50%, the string of early season formation records could be disrupted, and 2005 may stay in the books for the "N" and "O" storms. Nate holds the early formation record for the "N" storms on Sept. 5, 2005, and Ophelia holds the early formation record for the "O" storms on Sept. 7, 2005.

There have been seven named systems that have made landfall in the continental United States this year, a record amount to have occurred by the end of August. This record was set when Laura made landfall on Aug. 27, breaking the previous marks set in 1886 and 1916 with six through the end of August, according to Colorado State University Meteorologist Phil Klotzbach. In addition to Laura, Marco, Isaias, Hanna, Fay, Cristobal and Bertha all made landfall.

Additional landfalls are likely in the U.S. before the end of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.

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