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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Tropical depression could form in Atlantic by midweek, forecasters say

National Hurricane Center forecasters are tracking a disturbance in the Atlantic that it says could become a tropical depression by midweek.    (National Hurricane Center/National Hurricane Center/TNS)
By Angie DiMichele South Florida Sun Sentinel

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Hurricane season has gotten off to a slow start over the past couple of months, but now forecasters are tracking a disturbance that could become a tropical depression by midweek, the National Hurricane Center said.

As of 8 a.m. Monday, it was given a 40% chance of developing in the next five days while also upping its chances of such further organization over the next 48 hours to 20%. Forecasters are expecting some development as it heads generally west across the Atlantic at 15 to 20 mph.

The next named storm to form will be Danielle.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration last week updated predictions for activity this hurricane season.

Experts are now predicting 14 to 20 named storms and six to 10 hurricanes, with three to five of them a Category 3 or higher.

“We’re just getting into the peak months of August through October for hurricane development, and we anticipate that more storms are on the way,” NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad wrote in a news release Thursday.

The statistical peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is Sept. 10.

There have been three named storms so far this year: Alex, Bonnie and Colin. Tropical Storm Alex, the first named storm, dumped as much as 12 inches of rain on parts of South Florida.

The six-month-long hurricane season ends on Nov. 30.