NORAM | Sep 18, 2023

Nigel roars to hurricane strength as NHC eyes two new disturbances

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Category 1 Hurricane Nigel, as seen from space at 7:10 am Atlantic Standard Time (AST) on Monday, September 18, 2023. (Photo: National Hurricane Center)

Hurricane Nigel, becoming the fifth such system for the 2023 season, may soon be joined by two new disturbances on the extreme edges of the tropical Atlantic basin today (September 18).

Nigel, which birthed from Tropical Depression 15 before forming into a tropical storm on Saturday, is expect to rapidy intensify in the next 48 hours, according to the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC).

As at 5:00 am Atlantic Standard Time (AST), the centre of Nigel was located near latitude 26.5 North, longitude 50.7 West—1,510 kilometres east-southeast of Bermuda.

A satellite-generated time-lapse of Hurricane Nigel in the open Atlantic Ocean as at 6:40 am on Monday, September 18, 2023. (Content courtesy of NOAA/NHC)

Nigel, tracking northwest near 19 kilometres/hour, is currently packing maximum sustained winds at 130 kilometres/hour, with higher gusts.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 kilometres from its eye, while tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 260 kilometres.

On the forecast track, NHC meteorologists anticipate Nigel to turn northward late Tuesday, and then accelerate northeastward through the rest of the week.

“Nigel is forecast to rapidly strengthen into a major hurricane on Tuesday. A gradual weakening trend could start late Wednesday,” the NHC advised.

A seven-day projection of the centre of Hurricane Nigel as at 8:00 am Eastern Daylight Time (EST) on Monday, September 18, 2023. (Photo: National Hurricane Center)

The system poses no direct threat to land at this time, as no watches or warnings are active.

Meanwhile, the NHC is monitoring a tropical wave is expected to move off the west coast of Africa by Wednesday.

Environmental conditions are forecast to be conducive for gradual development of the wave thereafter, with a tropical depression likely to form later this week into the weekend.

Formation chances through the next seven days is classified ‘high’, at 70 per cent, as the system moves westward across the eastern and central tropical Atlantic.

A seven-day tropical weather outlook for the Atlantic Basin, highlighting two disturbances as well as Hurricane Nigel as at 8:00 am Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on Monday, September 18, 2023. (Photo: National Hurricane Center)

Closer to the Americas, NHC sleuths say a non-tropical area of low pressure could potentially form near the southeastern US coast late this week.

“This system could acquire some subtropical characteristics this weekend if it remains offshore while it moves slowly northward or northwestward,” the NHC noted, adding that the likelihood of development in the next seven days is currently ‘low’, at 30 per cent.


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