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Southern Atlantic may churn out next named tropical system

By Renee Duff, Accuwearher.com, Accuweather.com
Southern Atlantic may churn out next named tropical system

Confidence is increasing that the next named tropical system of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season will form in the farthest southern reaches of the basin during the final days of June.

This brewing tropical system, along with a disturbance much closer to the mainland of the United States, could make for an active end to June and beginning of July in the tropical Atlantic, following a lull in the wake of Tropical Storm Alex.

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AccuWeather meteorologists have been zeroing in on a robust cluster of showers and thunderstorms traversing the waters of the southern Atlantic for several days.

The feature of interest, dubbed a tropical rainstorm by AccuWeather and Invest 94L by the National Hurricane Center, faced an uphill climb last week with pockets of dry, dusty air and wind shear along its path. Having survived that journey, the rainstorm is poised to enter an environment more suitable for a tropical system to organize, with lighter winds and very warm water.

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"As this feature tracks generally to the west and west-northwest early this week, it is expected to become better organized and can form into a tropical depression or tropical storm (maximum sustained winds 39-73 mph) by the time it reaches the southern Windward Islands late in the day on Tuesday or Tuesday night," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Adam Douty said.

AccuWeather meteorologists increased the potential for tropical development to "high" on Sunday, June 26, 2022.

The next system to reach tropical-storm strength in the Atlantic will acquire the name Bonnie, followed by Colin.

Locations from Grenada to Barbados and St. Lucia could all experience an uptick in heavy rainfall and tropical-storm-force winds as the brewing tropical system passes through the islands prior to the middle of the week. Small craft operators are advised to use caution as seas will become rough.

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"At this time, it does not look like the system will be strong enough to bring significant damage," Douty said.

Forecasters point to two factors which may have an influence on how strong this system could become and how quickly it could organize -- its location and forward speed. The rainstorm is forecast to zip along to the west at a speed of 15-20 mph over the coming days.

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"The storm is expected to track far enough to the south that there may be impacts to Trinidad and Tobago, as well as the ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao, though impacts in these areas may be limited as the storm passes by just to the north," Douty said.

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AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski commented on how unusual it is to see tropical development near the ABC islands, especially this early in the year.

"It's more likely to occur in September or even early October," Kottlowski said.

Since record-keeping of Atlantic tropical systems began in the mid-1800s, only 25 storms have passed within 50 nautical miles of Aruba, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Of those 25 storms, only one brushed by the country during the month of June -- an unnamed hurricane on June 29, 1933.

Beyond the Caribbean, forecasters expect the system to reach Central America by Friday or Saturday, barring any significant disruptions to its circulation during its close encounter with the northern part of South America.

"Depending on the final intensity of the storm, there could be more significant impacts to eastern Central America," Douty said.

Regardless of whether this system or the one closer to the U.S. develops or not, AccuWeather's team of tropical weather meteorologists, expects an above-average season and above-average direct impacts on the U.S. for 2022. The team remains concerned that there could be one or more significant impacts on Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the southeastern U.S. mainland this season.

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Even though the Atlantic tends to remain relatively quiet during July and early August, the number of tropical storms and hurricanes tends to increase quickly later in August and during the middle of September. Hurricane season does not officially end until Nov. 30.

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