By Kayla Gagnet – National Hurricane Center forecasters are tracking a tropical wave that is expected to move off the coast of Africa later this weekend, and it has a 20 percent chance of developing into a named storm in the next five days.

It’s the first tropical activity in the Atlantic Basin since July 13, a sign that the seemingly slow 2022 hurricane season is entering its busy period.

Some gradual development of the system is expected as it moves westward across the eastern and central Atlantic Ocean during the early to middle part of next week, forecasters said.

This week, NOAA revised its storm forecast for the hurricane season, reducing the expected number of named storms and major hurricanes by one each.

But they warned that conditions are still ripe for a more active than normal season, with as many as 20 named storms, 10 hurricanes and five major hurricanes Category 3 or stronger.

August through October represents the peak months of the Atlantic Basin season, which officially lasts from June 1 through Nov. 30, said Matthew Rosencrans, lead hurricane season outlook forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

Three storms have formed so far this year:

  • Tropical Storm Alex, which formed as a depression on the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, on June 2, and cut across the central Florida peninsula on June 4 before heading into the northern Atlantic.
  • Hurricane Bonnie, which was first declared a potential tropical cyclone on June 27 off the northern coast of French Guyana, made landfall on the border of Costa Rica and Nicaragua on June 31, and crossed over into the Pacific Ocean on July 1.
  • Tropical storm Colin, which formed along the South Carolina shoreline on July 2 and dissipated just inland of the North Carolina coast on July 3.

Staff writer Mark Schleifstein contributed to this report.

Top Feature Photo: National Hurricane Center