• The San Juan Daily Star

Rose, the third tropical storm in recent days, is expected to weaken


An undated image provided by NOAA shows Tropical Storm Rose, which formed off the west coast of Africa on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021.

By The New York Times


Tropical Storm Rose, one of three storms to form in recent days, is not expected to strengthen as it moves west across the Atlantic Ocean, forecasters said.


As of 11 a.m. Eastern time on Monday, Rose was about 620 miles west of Cape Verde, off the west coast of Africa, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm, which was moving northwest at 16 mph, did not present an immediate threat to land and could weaken to a tropical depression by Thursday, the center said.


Rose, the 17th named storm of the busy 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, formed on Sunday, the same day that Tropical Storm Peter formed in the Atlantic east of the Caribbean. Tropical Storm Odette, which swirled to life on Friday off the Mid-Atlantic coast, was quickly downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone.


“We are fortunate right now that both Rose and Peter will have no direct impact on the U.S.,” Dennis Feltgen, a meteorologist at the hurricane center, said Monday. But he added that it was too early to say whether swells from the storms would reach the United States.


Only in 2020 and 2005 did a 17th named storm form earlier than it did this year, the hurricane center said.


It has been a dizzying couple of months for meteorologists as the arrival of peak hurricane season — August through November — has led to a quick run of named storms.


Hurricane Nicholas made landfall on Sept. 14 over the Gulf Coast of Texas, unleashing heavy rain across parts of Louisiana, which had been battered two weeks before by Hurricane Ida, which later brought deadly flooding to the New York area.


Tropical Storm Mindy hit the Florida Panhandle on Sept. 8, just hours after it formed in the Gulf of Mexico. At the same time, a powerful Hurricane Larry was churning in the Atlantic.


In mid-August, Tropical Storm Fred made landfall in the Florida Panhandle, and Hurricane Grace hit Haiti and Mexico. Tropical Storm Henri knocked out power and brought record rainfall to the Northeastern United States on Aug. 22.


The links between hurricanes and climate change are becoming more apparent. A warming planet can expect stronger hurricanes over time, as well as a higher incidence of the most powerful storms — though the overall number of storms could drop, because factors like stronger wind shear could keep weaker storms from forming.


Hurricanes are also becoming wetter because of more water vapor in the warmer atmosphere; scientists have suggested that Hurricane Harvey in 2017 produced far more rain than it would have without the human effects on climate. Also, rising sea levels are contributing to higher storm surge — the most destructive element of tropical cyclones.


Ana became the first named storm of the season on May 23, making 2021 the seventh consecutive year that a named storm developed in the Atlantic before the official start of the season, which begins June 1.


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


NOAA updated its forecast in early August, predicting 15 to 21 named storms, including seven to 10 hurricanes, by the end of the season, on Nov. 30.


“We’re still in the peak of the season,” Feltgen said Monday. “We still have a good 2 1/2 months to go. We’ve got a long way, so stay prepared.”


Last year, there were 30 named storms, including six major hurricanes, leading meteorologists to exhaust the alphabet for the second time and begin using Greek letters.


The year 2020 saw the most named storms on record, surpassing the 28 in 2005.