Tropical Storm Odette Forms Off Mid-Atlantic Coast

The storm is expected to bring dangerous surf conditions to the northeastern United States before unleashing strong winds and heavy rains in Newfoundland, forecasters said.,

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Odette formed into a tropical storm on Friday afternoon off the Mid-Atlantic coast and was expected to bring dangerous surf conditions as it barreled toward Newfoundland, forecasters said.

At around 5 p.m. Eastern time, the storm was about 225 miles southeast of Cape May, N.J., 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, churning up life-threatening surf conditions along the U.S. coastline.

Odette is expected to be downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone by Saturday night before it unleashes strong winds and heavy rains in Newfoundland on Sunday, the center said.

By the time the storm reaches Canada, it will be “something more winterlike and more cooler and drier,” said John Cangialosi, a senior hurricane specialist at the center.

It has been a stormy month for Newfoundland, which last week was battered by Larry, a Category 1 hurricane that caused widespread power outages. However, Mr. Cangialosi said, Odette will not be as impactful 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 couple of months for meteorologists as the arrival of peak hurricane season — August through November — led to a run of named storms that formed in quick succession, bringing stormy weather, flooding and damaging winds to parts of the United States and the Caribbean.

Tropical Depression Nicholas made landfall early Sept. 14 as a hurricane over the Gulf Coast of Texas. The storm unleashed heavy rain across parts of Louisiana, threatening to hinder the state’s efforts to restore electricity to tens of thousands of customers who were battered by Hurricane Ida.

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

Ida battered Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane on Aug. 29 before its remnants brought deadly flooding to the New York area. Two other tropical storms, Julian and Kate, both fizzled out within a day at the same time.

Not long before them, 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.

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Karen Zraick and Christina CaronReporting on the weather ?

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Christina Caron

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Aug. 18, 2021

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The links between hurricanes and climate change are becoming more apparent. A warming planet can expect to see stronger hurricanes over time, and 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 storms like Hurricane Harvey in 2017 produced far more rain than they 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.

A major United Nations climate report released in August warned that nations have delayed curbing their fossil-fuel emissions for so long that they can no longer stop global warming from intensifying over the next 30 years, leading to more frequent life-threatening heat waves and severe droughts. Tropical cyclones have likely become more intense over the past 40 years, the report said, a shift that cannot be explained by natural variability alone.

Ana became the first named storm of the season on May 23, making this the seventh year in a row that a named storm developed in the Atlantic before the official start of the season on 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, and three to five major hurricanes of Category 3 or higher in the Atlantic. In early August, in a midseason update to the forecast, they continued to warn that this year’s hurricane season will be an above average one, suggesting a busy end to the season.

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. 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 move to using Greek letters.

It was the highest number of storms on record, surpassing the 28 from 2005, and included the second-highest number of hurricanes on record.

Alyssa Lukpat contributed reporting.

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