Tropical Storm Rose Forms West of Africa

Rose, the 17th named storm of the busy 2021 Atlantic hurricane season and the third to form in less than a week, formed Sunday west of Africa.

At 5 p.m. Eastern, the National Hurricane Center predicted that the storm, which was a few hundred miles southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands, would begin weakening on Tuesday and would not be expected to make landfall.

In just a few days, Rose was able to track the development of two other named storms. In the Atlantic Ocean east of the Caribbean Sea, Tropical Storm Peter formed on Sunday, and Tropical Storm Odette swirled to life on Friday, but was quickly downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone.

Since 2005 and 2020, the hurricane centre has found only two instances in which a 17th named storm formed earlier than 2021.

It’s been a crazy few months for meteorologists as the peak hurricane season (August through November) has brought a string of named storms to the United States and the Caribbean, bringing stormy weather, flooding, and damaging winds.

In the early hours of Sept. 8, Tropical Storm Mindy made landfall in the Panhandle of Florida. Hurricane Larry was churning in the Atlantic at the same time.

Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana on Aug. 29 as a Category 4 storm, before bringing devastating flooding to New York City. Julian and Kate, the other two tropical storms, both dissipated within a day of each other.

Tropical Storm Fred made landfall in the Florida Panhandle in mid-August, and Hurricane Grace hit Haiti and Mexico just days before that. On August 22, Tropical Storm Henri wreaked havoc on the Northeastern United States, knocking out power and delivering record rainfall.

More and more evidence is pointing to the link between hurricanes and climate change. As the planet warms, hurricanes will become more powerful and more frequent, but the overall number of storms may decrease due to factors such as stronger wind shear that prevent weaker storms from forming.

There is more water vapour in the atmosphere as a result of climate change; scientists believe that Hurricane Harvey in 2017 produced far more rain than it would have without the human impact on climate. The most destructive aspect of tropical cyclones, storm surge, is being exacerbated by rising sea levels.

On May 23, Ana became the season’s first named storm, making it the seventh year in a row that a storm formed in the Atlantic before the season officially began on June 1.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists in May predicted 13 to 20 named storms, six to 10 of which would be hurricanes, with three to five major hurricanes of Category 3 or higher in the Atlantic.

Earlier this month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) revised its season-ending forecast, predicting 15 to 21 storms, including 7 to 10 hurricanes, by November 30.

For the second time, meteorologists had to use Greek letters because there were 30 named storms, including six major hurricanes, last year.

The number of named storms in 2020 surpassed the previous record of 28 storms set in 2005.