One possible storm down and two to go, with another maybe in the wings.
That was the scenario Sunday morning as forecasters at the National Hurricane Center watched four tropical weather systems in the Atlantic basin – a pair of minimal tropical storms, a dissipating tropical depression and another disturbance that could threaten the flood-weary Carolinas.
Tropical Depression 11 bit the dust late Sunday morning after running into high wind shear. The depression had been approaching the Lesser Antilles but thanks to hostile winds only a cyclonic wisp of clouds remained. The system became what the weather folks call a “remnant low” and was written off by the Hurricane Center as of its 11 a.m. advisory.
Satellite photos showed another twist of clouds south of Bermuda and southeast of the Carolinas. That disturbance constitutes the remnants of Hurricane Florence, which saturated the Carolinas with rain and wind last week. The disturbance was battling wind shear just as TD 11 and won’t be developing over the next day or so. Conditions could become a little more favorable for development after that, and forecasters give it a 30 percent chance of becoming a named storm – again – over the next five days. It was not clear what the system would be named if it became a tropical storm.
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Kirk chugged across the southern Atlantic on a westward heading toward the Lesser Antilles. Kirk was barely hanging on as a tropical storm with only 40 mph winds thanks to lots of African dust in its path. The Hurricane Center forecasts slow strengthening, then weakening as the storm enters the Caribbean and undertakes a shallow curve to the west-northwest, aiming toward the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Then there was newly formed Subtropical Storm Leslie, which popped up in the mid-Atlantic on Sunday far to the east of Bermuda. Leslie is not expected to hang around for very long – a new low, one that could become a named storm itself – is forecast to develop north of Leslie and absorb the storm.
At present none of these storms threatens the Florida Panhandle.