Tropical Storm Rose Forms West of Africa

The storm, the third to develop in less than a week, became the 17th named storm of the busy 2021 hurricane season.,

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Tropical Storm Rose formed west of Africa on Sunday, becoming the 17th named storm of the busy 2021 Atlantic hurricane season and the third to develop in less than a week.

The storm, which was a few hundred miles southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands as of 5 p.m. Eastern, is expected to begin weakening on Tuesday and isn’t expected to make landfall, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Rose followed the development of two other named storms in just a few days. Tropical Storm Peter formed in the Atlantic Ocean east of the Caribbean on Sunday, and Tropical Storm Odette swirled to life on Friday off the Mid-Atlantic coast, though it was quickly downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone.

Only in 2020 and 2005 did a 17th named storm form earlier in the year than it did in 2021, 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 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 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.

Hurricane Ida battered Louisiana as a Category 4 storm on Aug. 29 before its remnants brought deadly flooding to the New York area. Two other tropical storms, Julian and Kate, both fizzled 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 Northeast 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.

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.

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