Tropical Storm Peter formed in the Atlantic Ocean east of the Caribbean on Sunday, forecasters said, announcing the 16th storm of the 2021 season.
From 11 am Easter on Sunday, the storm was located about 430 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands and was set to pass “far north of the Lesser Antilles,” according to the National Hurricane Center.
The center said rainfall around the storm’s periphery from late Sunday to Tuesday could lead to “urban and small stream flooding” in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the rest of the northern Leeward Islands.
Meteorologists have had some dizzying months as the arrival of hurricane season — August through November — has sparked a series of named storms that formed in quick succession, bringing stormy weather, flooding and damaging winds to parts of the United States and the Caribbean. brought area.
Peter’s arrival came as a new storm, Odette, weakened to a post-tropical cyclone on Saturday and was expected to bring heavy rain and strong wind gusts to Newfoundland and Labrador on Sunday and Monday, according to the Canadian Hurricane Center.
Tropical Depression Nicholas made landfall early on September 14 as a hurricane over the Texas Gulf Coast. The storm sent heavy rainfall across parts of Louisiana, threatening to hamper the state’s efforts to restore electricity to tens of thousands of customers already affected by Hurricane Ida.
Tropical Storm Mindy hit the Florida Panhandle on Sept. 8, just hours after it formed in the Gulf of Mexico, while a powerful Hurricane Larry was churning in the Atlantic at the same time.
Ida devastated Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane on August 29, before its remnants sent deadly flooding to the New York area. Two other tropical storms, Julian and Kate, both died out at the same time within a day.
The links between hurricanes and climate change are becoming increasingly clear. A warming planet can expect stronger hurricanes over time and a higher incidence of the most powerful storms. But the total number of storms could drop, as factors such as stronger wind shear can prevent the formation of weaker storms.
Hurricanes also get wetter due to more water vapor in the warmer atmosphere; scientists have suggested that storms like Hurricane Harvey in 2017 produced far more rain than they would without the human effects on the climate. Rising sea levels also contribute to higher storm surge — the most destructive element of tropical cyclones.
A major United Nations climate report released in August warned that countries have delayed cutting their fossil fuel emissions for so long that they can no longer prevent global warming from increasing over the next 30 years, leading to more frequent life-threatening heat waves and severe droughts. Tropical cyclones have likely intensified over the past 40 years, the report said, a shift that can’t be explained by natural variability alone.
Ana became the season’s first named storm on May 22, marking the seventh straight year that a named storm developed in the Atlantic before the official start of the hurricane season on June 1.
In May, scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted that there would be 13 to 20 named storms this year, including six to 10 hurricanes and three to five major hurricanes of Category 3 or higher in the Atlantic Ocean. In early August, in a mid-season update of the forecast, scientists continued to warn that this year’s hurricane season would be above average, suggesting a busy season end.
NOAA updated the forecast on August 4, and forecast 15 to 21 named storms, including seven to 10 hurricanes, by the end of the season on November 30. Peter is the 16th named storm of 2021.
Last year, there were 30 named storms, including six major hurricanes, forcing meteorologists to exhaust the alphabet and use Greek letters for the second time.
It was the highest number of storms on record, surpassing the 28 recorded in 2005, and included the second-highest number of hurricanes on record.