The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season is nearing its conclusion, officially ending on Thursday, Nov. 30, but the tropics are still showing signs of life with the potential for a new storm to spin up before the end of the week.
AccuWeather hurricane experts are closely monitoring a cluster of showers and thunderstorms in the southwestern Caribbean Sea, which could organize in the short term. There is currently a low chance for the system to strengthen into a tropical depression or storm by Friday.
Should this area of low pressure strengthen into a tropical storm, it would be named Vince, becoming the 20th named storm of the season. It would also leave Whitney as the only name left to be used if another tropical system takes shape over the Atlantic basin before the end of the year.
Waters remain very warm across the Caribbean, with surface water temperatures in the low to mid-80s F. The minimum threshold for tropical development is around 80 degrees.
Along with warm waters, this system may take advantage of decreasing wind shear for a short period of time this week. When there is low wind shear in place, clusters of showers and thunderstorms have a better chance of becoming more consolidated into a tropical system. When wind shear is high, it can prohibit tropical development.
Wind shear will fluctuate over the region through this week. Should wind shear decrease for long enough, there may be a window of opportunity for the system to become better organized and strengthen.
Regardless of development, drenching showers and thunderstorms can occur across portions of the Greater Antilles late this week into the weekend, which can lead to the risk of flash flooding. Rough surf and seas can also impact the region as well into Saturday.
If the system is able to develop, additional impacts, including coastal flooding and damaging wind gusts, can also occur across Cuba, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Puerto Rico.
The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season has been a busy one with 19 named storms so far, six of which became hurricanes. There was also an unnamed subtropical storm that briefly developed over the Atlantic in January, as well as a tropical depression in late October that failed to intensify into a named tropical storm.
The season has been above the historical average in terms of named storms. During a typical hurricane season, only 14 named storms form across the Atlantic basin.
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