Next tropical system expected to be hurricane as it approaches southeast

The National Hurricane Center is monitoring a system expected to become the season's 12th named storm this week.
Published: Sep. 2, 2023 at 9:06 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 4, 2023 at 8:38 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The National Hurricane Center says the season’s 12th named storm is expected to form within days and then become Tropical Storm Lee.

The system, which is several hundred miles southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands, is continuing to show signs of organization as it produces showers and thunderstorms.

Live 5 First Alert Meteorologist Chris Holtzman says environmental conditions will promote strengthening by the middle of the week.

“This has a high chance of development moving over very warm ocean water and we’ll be watching that very closely,” he said.

The system is currently called Tropical Wave Invest 95-L, but could be a tropical depression by the middle of the week. The National Hurricane Center places its chances of development at 90%.

When it reaches tropical storm strength as it is expected to do, it will take the name Lee.

Computer models, commonly referred to as “spaghetti models” point the system toward the southeastern United States coastline by the end of the week or the weekend.

“Some models tend to differ: Some bring it closer to the southeast; others tend to move it offshore and curve it out to sea,” he said.

Forecasters are also watching a tropical wave expected to move off the African coast that has a medium chance of developing. As of 8 a.m., the National Hurricane Center placed its chances of development over the next seven days at 40%. It says the wave could become a tropical depression by the end of the week.

Holtzman says early forecasts show that system staying away from land. If it were to reach tropical storm strength, the next name on the list would be Margot.

Gert, Katia still hanging on

As of 8 a.m. Monday, the season’s 11th named storm, Katia, was a tropical depression about 1,020 miles northwest of the Cabo Verde Islands with maximum sustained winds at 35 mph. Katia is expected to weaken to a remnant low later Monday.

Further east, Tropical Storm Gert was expected to be absorbed by Post-Tropical Storm Idalia later on Monday. At of 8 a.m., it was about 860 miles east-northeast of Bermuda moving to the north at 24 mph with 50 mph winds.

Gert is expected to dissipate later on Monday as it moves toward Nova Scotia, Canada.

Sunday marks the peak of hurricane season. Hurricane season ends on Nov. 30.