Tropical Storm Odette formed off the Mid-Atlantic coast on Friday afternoon and is expected to bring dangerous surf conditions as it heads into Newfoundland, forecasters said.
At around 5 p.m. EST, the storm was about 225 miles southeast of Cape May, NJ, moving northeast with maximum sustained winds of about 40 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm was expected to turn east-northeast and pick up speed on Saturday, creating life-threatening surf conditions along the US coast.
Odette is expected to be downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone by Saturday night before it unleashes strong winds and heavy rain in Newfoundland on Sunday, the center said.
By the time the storm hits Canada, it will be “something more wintry, cooler and drier,” said John Cangialosi, senior hurricane specialist at the center.
It has been a stormy month for Newfoundland, which was hit last week by Larry, a Category 1 hurricane that caused widespread power outages. However, Mr. Cangialosi said, Odette won’t have as much of an impact as Larry.
The center has not issued any tropical storm watches or warnings for Odette.
Odette is the 15th named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.
It has been a dizzying few months for meteorologists, as the onset of the peak hurricane season – August through November – resulted in a series of named storms that quickly followed each other, bringing thunderstorms, floods and storms. destructive winds in parts of the United States and the Caribbean.
Tropical Depression Nicholas made landfall in early September 14 as a hurricane on the Gulf Coast of Texas. The storm triggered heavy rains in parts of Louisiana, threatening to hamper the state’s efforts to restore power to tens of thousands of customers who were battered by Hurricane Ida.
Tropical Storm Mindy struck the Florida panhandle on September 8, just hours after it formed in the Gulf of Mexico, and as a powerful Hurricane Larry simultaneously swept across the Atlantic.
The links between hurricanes and climate change are becoming increasingly evident. A warming planet can expect to see stronger hurricanes over time and a higher incidence of more powerful storms, although the total number of storms may decline as factors like stronger wind shear could prevent the formation of weaker storms.
Hurricanes also get wetter due to increased water vapor in the warmer atmosphere; scientists have suggested that storms like Hurricane Harvey in 2017 produced much more rain than they would have had without the human effects on the climate. In addition, rising sea levels contribute to increased storm surges, the most destructive element of tropical cyclones.
A major United Nations climate report released in August warned that countries have delayed cutting fossil fuel emissions for so long that they can no longer prevent global warming from intensifying over the next 30 years, resulting in more frequent and potentially fatal heat waves and severe droughts. Tropical cyclones have likely become more intense over the past 40 years, according to the report, a change that cannot be explained by natural variability alone.
Ana became the first named storm of the season on May 23, making it the seventh consecutive year that a named storm has developed in the Atlantic before the official start of the season on June 1.
In May, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted there would be 13 to 20 named storms this year, of which six to 10 would be hurricanes and three to five major Category 3 or more hurricanes in the Atlantic. In early August, in a mid-season forecast update, they continued to warn that this year’s hurricane season would be above average, suggesting a busy end to the season.
NOAA updated its forecast in early August, forecasting 15 to 21 named storms, including seven to 10 hurricanes, by the end of the season on November 30. Odette is the 15th named storm of 2021.
Last year there were 30 named storms, including six major hurricanes, forcing meteorologists to exhaust the alphabet for the second time and use the Greek letters.
It was the highest number of storms on record, exceeding 28 in 2005, and included the second highest number of hurricanes on record.
Alyssa Lukpat contributed reports.