A new tropical depression has developed, joining Tropical Storm Fred in keeping the Atlantic Basin active in the days leading up to the peak of hurricane season.
A tropical low located nearly 300 miles south-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands has developed into Tropical Depression 7.
The system, however, will not follow in the footsteps of Fred in both its track and intensity.
"This depression will be slow to strengthen, unlike Fred which was fast to intensify," stated AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Bob Smerbeck. Fred strengthened from a tropical depression to a Category 1 hurricane in less than 36 hours in the final days of August.
"Dry, dusty air to the north is the main inhibiting factor to why this depression will not rapidly intensify," Smerbeck said, "and it is expanding with the system." However, the dry air should not totally overwhelm the system and cause its demise.
The next tropical storm in the Atlantic would acquire the name "Grace."
Regardless of strengthening, the depression will only pose hazards to shipping interests through much of the upcoming week.
The depression will remain on a general west to northwest heading over the open waters of the eastern and central Atlantic, bypassing the Cape Verde Islands.
"The weaker the system remains, it is more likely to track more to the west than northwest," said Smerbeck. "As early as next weekend, it could reach the Lesser Antilles."
Those with interests in the Lesser Antilles and elsewhere in the Caribbean are urged to check back with AccuWeather for the latest on this depression.
On the heels of this depression, another tropical wave set to emerge from Africa on Monday will also have to be watched for future development and potential impacts on the Cape Verde Islands around Tuesday, mainly in the form of rain and gusty winds.
Latest on Tropical Storm Fred
The depression is not the only feature being monitored by the AccuWeather Hurricane Center. Tropical Storm Fred continues to battle disruptive wind shear as it churns over the central Atlantic.
While weakening to a depression on Friday, Fred overcame that wind shear enough Friday night to restrengthen into a tropical storm. It is possible that the wind shear once again wins out this weekend and forces Fred back to tropical depression status.
Fred may once again restrengthen next week, but its future track will depend on its interaction with a non-tropical system pushing east of Bermuda.
In both scenarios, the system will pull Fred to the north and then northeast Sunday and into Monday. The key beyond Monday is whether the system picks up Fred or leaves Fred behind, stated Smerbeck.
If Fred gets left behind, the non-tropical system could still bring a period of rain and gusty winds to the Azores early in the new week.
In this scenario, "Fred may never reach the Azores," Smerbeck said but could instead remain to the south.
In the event that Fred gets picked up and absorbed by the system, Smerbeck said, "The Azores would experience a 12- to 24-hour period of rain and wind Tuesday into Wednesday."