Hurricane center eyes possible system near Florida, 1 other as Hurricane Nigel churns

As Hurricane Nigel spins in the Atlantic, the National Hurricane Center keeps track of a system that could form off Florida’s coast and another off the coast of Africa.

The NHC expects a non-tropical area of low pressure to form east of the Florida peninsula late this week it said in its 8 a.m. tropical outlook.

“This system could acquire some subtropical characteristics this weekend while it moves generally northward,” forecasters said. “Regardless of subtropical development, this low could bring gusty winds, heavy rain, and high surf conditions to portions of the coastal Carolinas into the coastal Mid-Atlantic states this weekend.”

The National Weather Service warned 10- to 12-foot seas could form offshore of Volusia and Brevard counties by Friday and a small-craft advisory may be necessary, but that seas will die down by the weekend for Florida.

The NHC gives it a 30% chance to develop in the next seven days.

It gave higher odds for formation to a tropical wave expected to move off the west coast of Africa by Wednesday.

“Environmental conditions are forecast to be conducive for gradual development of the wave thereafter, and a tropical depression is likely to form late this week or this weekend while the system moves generally westward across the eastern and central tropical Atlantic,” forecasters said.

The NHC gave it a 70% chance to form in the next seven days.

If either were to develop into a named storm, it could become Tropical Storm Ophelia, the 15th named storm of the 2023 hurricane season.

For now, the 14th named storm keeps churning in the Atlantic.

As of 5 a.m., Hurricane Nigel was located about 690 miles east-southeast of Bermuda moving northwest at 13 mph with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, making it a Category 1 hurricane. Its hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles and tropical-storm-force winds extend out up to 175 miles.

“The hurricane is forecast to turn northward late today, and then accelerate rapidly northeastward through the rest of the week,” forecasters said. “Nigel is forecast to strengthen some through early Wednesday, with weakening likely on Thursday and Friday. Nigel is forecast to become a strong post-tropical cyclone on Friday.”

The NHC warned swells from Nigel would begin to reach Bermuda today.

Nigel became the sixth hurricane of the season on Monday joining Don, Franklin, Idalia, Lee and Margot.

The hurricane season runs from June 1-Nov. 30.