The Atlantic Basin is showing signs of stirring once again, with confidence that a new named storm will form sometime Wednesday.
Tropical Depression 11 has come to fruition and the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) expects the system to strengthen into a tropical storm by Thursday, according to its most recent update. Should it reach that threshold, it will become the 10th named storm of the season, taking designation of Josephine. While it may take a track into the Caribbean, it is too early to say with certainty.
The depression is currently 1,960 kilometres east-southeast of the northern Leeward Islands. It is moving westward at 24 km/h and is expected slightly shift toward the west-northwest with a similar speed and continue through the rest of the week.
"Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 km/h) with higher gusts," says the NHC in a public advisory update. "Gradual strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and the depression is expected to become a tropical storm tonight."
The relatively active season so far has featured several storms that were the earliest of their number to be named, and Josephine may be the latest: Colorado State University Philip Klotzbach says the earliest J-named storm on record was Jose, which reached tropical status on Aug. 22, 2005.
That season remains the most active on record, with 31 named storms, such that meteorologists ran out of letters in the Latin alphabet to name them, and six were named for letters of the Greek alphabet. The last, Tropical Storm Zeta, formed in late December and did not dissipate until January 6th, 2005.
The 2020 season has so far produced nine named storms, including two hurricanes: Hanna, which impacted Texas and northern Mexico, and Isaias, which tracked up the U.S. East Coast and whose remnants fuelled downpours in Quebec earlier in August.