Hurricane names running out as Tropical Depression 20 forms

Expected to be storm Wednesday night, hurricane by weekend

This graphic shows the projected track of Tropical Depression 20. -Photo: National Hurricane Center

For the latest information on storm activity in the Cayman Islands, as well as information on how to prepare for hurricane season, visit Storm Centre.

Forecasters are projecting Tropical Depression 20, which formed in the Atlantic on Wednesday morning, to become a storm overnight and a hurricane by the weekend.

With only two names left on the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season list, forecasters will be looking to the alternate names register for the remainder of the season, which has been quite active.

The system, which is moving toward the west-northwest near 14 miles per hour, is located 535 miles south of Cabo Verde.

At this time, the system does not pose a threat to the Cayman Islands nor the Caribbean as it is churning in open waters.

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Satellite image shows the active Atlantic systems  – Source: National Hurricane Center

The next name on the list is Victor, followed by Wanda.

With two months left in the season, forecasters will be dipping into the alternate tropical cyclone list as the Greek alphabet, which was used last year, has been dropped due to confusion with the names.

Alternate name list – Source: World Meteorological Organisation

Atlantic tropical cyclone names

Pacific tropical cyclone names


The National Hurricane Center in Miami reported maximum sustained winds near 35 mph with higher gusts.

It said the west-northwest motion is expected to continue over the next couple of days, followed by a turn to the northwest.

“Steady strengthening is forecast, and the depression is expected to become a tropical storm [Wednesday night] and a hurricane in a couple of days,” the NHC said.

Satellite images indicate that the system is producing a large area of showers and thunderstorms that have become fairly well organised around the centre, it added.

Meanwhile, a second system in the vicinity of TD20 is also being monitored.

Showers and thunderstorms remain disorganised in association with a trough of low pressure located several hundred miles southwest of
Cabo Verde, the NHC said.

“Development of this system appears less likely due to the interaction with the larger low pressure area
located to its east. The system is forecast to drift
west-northwestward over the tropical central Atlantic during the next few days,” it added.

The system has a 30% chance of formation through five days.

There have been some suggestions that this system could be absorbed by TD20, but that is too early to predict at this stage of its development.

Hurricane Sam, which is continuing along is forecast track northwest and is now a Category 4 storm, is moving near 9 mph and this general motion, with an increase in forward speed, is expected over the next couple of days.

A turn toward the north is expected by Friday. On the forecast track, Sam will pass well to the east-northeast of the northern Leeward Islands through Wednesday night.

“Maximum sustained winds are near 130 mph (215 km/h) with higher gusts. Sam is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in intensity are expected during the next couple of days, but Sam is forecast to remain a
major hurricane through late this week,” the NHC said.

Sam is expected to brush Bermuda as a major hurricane by Saturday.

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