The 2021 hurricane season shows no sign of slowing is the assessment of the US National Hurricane Centre NHC) as forecasters keep close tabs on two developing weather systems in the mid-Atlantic.
In its mid-season update, the NHC increases the number of expected named storms to between 15 and 21 for this season.
That’s up from its projection in May when it projected that six to 10 hurricanes and 13 to 20 total named storms would form this year.
Of the predicted hurricanes, three to five could be major, with wind speeds of 111 mph or higher.
Already this year, five named storms have formed, including Hurricane Elsa early in July. The next named storm will be Fred.
Meanwhile, of the two systems being tracked in the Atlantic, one is on a path that is expected to take it through the Eastern Caribbean chain this week, then into the Caribbean Sea.
The NHC reports that showers and thunderstorms have become more concentrated on Monday morning in that low-pressure system located about 150 miles east of Barbados.
Environmental conditions favour additional development, and a tropical depression was likely to form by Monday night as the system moves west-northwestward at 10 to 15 mph.
The disturbance is forecast to reach portions of the Lesser Antilles Monday night, then move near the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Tuesday, and into the vicinity of Hispaniola by Wednesday.
The NHC advises that tropical storm watches or warnings could be required Monday with shorter-than-normal lead times for portions of the Lesser Antilles, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. In addition, heavy rains and flooding are likely for the Leeward Islands, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.
Interests in those areas should monitor the progress of this system as it has a high chance of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours.
On the other hand, development of the other system further out in the Atlantic is now said to be less likely.
UN CLIMATE REPORT: GLOOMY OUTLOOK
As the 2021 hurricane season approaches its September peak, experts at the NHC say although Atlantic sea temperatures are not expected to be as warm as they were during the record-breaking 2020 season, some factors could favour above-average activity.
There is wide agreement agree that 2021 will experience higher-than-normal activity.
This outlook comes as the United Nations on Monday published a landmark report on climate change.
Referred to as a ‘wake-up call for the world’ and ‘code red for humanity’ the report presents a gloomy outlook as regions around the world are currently grappling with climate extremes.
Stifling heatwaves, hellish forest fires, torrential rainfall, raging floods, and crippling droughts are happening on an epic scale in some countries, while more powerful and destructive hurricanes and typhoons are forecast.
Small low-lying countries are also at particular risk from rising seas, coastal erosion, and lax enforcement of environment protection policies.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “It makes for sobering reading.”
Calling it “a code red for humanity", UN Secretary-General António Guterres said: "As today's report makes clear, there is no time for delay and no room for excuses. If we combine forces now, we can avert climate catastrophe.”
The report by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), follows a previous warning of climate change the panel published in 2013.
It concludes that the consequences of further delaying corrective action have become more perilous.