NOTE: Tropical Storm Tammy has formed. Updates regarding this system have been moved to a new story. This story is no longer being updated.
All eyes are on Invest 94L in the tropical Atlantic. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Wednesday it is becoming better organized and that a tropical storm is expected to soon form.
The tropical disturbance is attempting to organize over the central Atlantic rather than the typical October development area in the warm waters of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico or off the eastern U.S. coast.
Invest 94L on the cusp of developing into Tropical Storm Tammy
This tropical disturbance in the central Atlantic Ocean has been dubbed Invest 94L by the NHC. An invest is a naming convention the agency uses that allows forecasters to run specialized computer forecast models on systems they are watching for potential development.
The NHC said satellite imagery indicates that the low-pressure system located about 700 miles east of the Windward Islands is gradually becoming better defined, and tropical-storm-force winds are already being detected.
Continued development is anticipated, and a tropical storm is expected to form later Wednesday while moving westward or west-northwestward toward the Lesser Antilles. If this system reaches tropical storm status, it will be named Tammy.
The NHC said advisories may be initiated on this system as early as Wednesday afternoon. They could include the issuance of Tropical Storm Watches for some of the islands.
Regardless of development, this system has the potential to bring gusty winds, heavy rainfall and flash flooding to portions of the Lesser Antilles beginning Friday, the NHC warned.
Approaching the end of season for development in eastern Atlantic
The Atlantic Basin sees about one storm a year that develops around the Cabo Verde Islands in either the final days of September or October.
In 2022, Tropical Depression Twelve developed on Oct. 4 southwest of the African islands but never strengthened into a named storm.
Before Tropical Storm Sean, the last named storm to traverse the eastern Atlantic this late in the hurricane season was Victor in 2021. Victor organized into a tropical storm on Sept. 21 and dissipated by Oct. 5.
According to Phil Klotzbach, a hurricane expert at Colorado State University, only three other seasons on record had 19-plus Atlantic named storms by Oct. 11: 2020 (25 named storms), 2005 (21 named storms) and 2021 (20 named storms).