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NHC drops odds of development to 10% for disturbance in Caribbean

The National Hurricane Center has been tracking a disturbance all week but says development of this system appears unlikely.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) continues to track a disturbance in the southwestern Caribbean on Wednesday but says the area of concern is now unlikely to develop.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the NHC gives the disturbance a 10 percent chance of developing into a tropical depression or named storm over the next five days. This is down slightly from the 20 percent forecasted Tuesday.

A broad area of low pressure is expected to develop in this area over the next couple of days. While significant development of this system isn't likely, heavy rain will be possible for parts of Central America, the National Hurricane Center said.

Tropical systems have four stages of development.

  1. Tropical Disturbance: The birth of a hurricane, having only a slight circulation with no closed isobars around an area of low pressure. Tropical disturbances commonly exist in the tropical trade winds at any one time and are often accompanied by clouds and precipitation.
  2. Tropical Depression: When the winds reach between 25 and 38 mph, the storm is called a tropical depression. A tropical depression has at least one closed isobar that accompanies a drop in pressure in the center of the storm.
  3. Tropical Storm: If sustained wind speeds increase to at least 39 mph, a tropical depression is upgraded to a tropical storm. Surface wind speeds vary between 39 and 73 mph and the storm becomes more organized. Tropical storms resemble the appearance of hurricanes due to the intensified circulation.
  4. Hurricane: A tropical storm becomes a hurricane when sustained wind speeds reach 74 mph. A pronounced rotation develops around the central core as spiral rain bands rotate around the eye of the storm. The heaviest precipitation and strongest winds are associated with the eye wall.

Experts say 2021 is expected to be another busy hurricane season. The NHC predicts 13 to 20 named storms, with 6 to 10 of them hurricanes and 3 to 5 reaching Category 3 strength or higher.

This will be an above-average season for the sixth consecutive year.

Last year, 2020 produced the most named storms ever recorded, with 30. 

This broke the previous record of 28 which was set in 2005. Records date back to 1851.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30.

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