Tracking the tropics: Forecasters eye potential system in Atlantic

Experts give disturbed weather system 20% chance to develop

By Daniel Dahm - Digital Manager

ORLANDO, Fla. - Forecasters are eyeing a potential system in the tropics.

The National Hurricane Center said Friday that an area of disturbed weather, located between the Lesser Antilles and Africa, has a 10 percent chance of developing over the next two days and a 20 percent chance within the next five days.

"It's way out in the open Atlantic, but we'll keep an eye on it," News 6 meteorologist Troy Bridges said.

There have been four named storms this season, and experts on Thursday said they now expect the season to be less active than previously thought. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's updated outlook predicts nine to 13 named storms, including four to seven hurricanes. Up to two hurricanes could be "major" with sustained winds of at least 111 mph.

Gerry Bell, of NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, said Thursday that oceanic and atmospheric conditions have become "much more inhospitable to hurricane formation and intensification."

Bell said the El Nino phenomenon also may develop as the six-month season peaks. That natural warming in the Pacific Ocean tends to reduce Atlantic hurricane activity.

He warned coastal residents the forecast doesn't predict where any storms could make landfall, which is determined by short-term weather patterns.

Watch News 6 and stay with ClickOrlando.com for updates.

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