Three hurricanes and a new tropical wave expected

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A new tropical wave is expected to join Hurricanes Katia, Irma and Jose. (National Hurricane Center)

HOLT, Fla., Sept. 7, 2017–This is proving to be an active hurricane season with three hurricanes in the Atlantic and a fourth tropical wave expected off the coast of Africa.

Unusual, but not unheard of, three or more hurricanes in the Atlantic at one time has occurred three times before.

According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration records, Hurricanes Igor, Julia and Karl formed in the Atlantic in 2010. In 1998, there were four simultaneous hurricanes–Georges, Ivan Jeanne and Karl.

And in 1893, there were four unnamed hurricanes. Naming hurricanes began in 1950 with Hurricane Able.

Just as unusual is two major hurricanes simultaneously in the Atlantic Basin, especially so close together, according to the National Hurricane Center.  The last time this happened was 2010 when Igor and Julia were both major hurricanes September 15-16, and then Igor and Karl were both major hurricanes briefly September 17.

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Hurricane watches are in effect for Antigua and Barbuda. (NHC)

While all attention is focused on Irma, Hurricane Jose, the third major storm of the season, is spinning almost 1,300 miles behind.

Jose is located about 540 miles east of the Lesser Antilles, moving west-northwest at 18 mph and is expected to be near the northern Leeward Islands Saturday.

A category three storm, maximum sustained winds are at 120 mph with higher gusts. The NHC is forecasting some strengthening during the next day or so.

The NHC has issued hurricane watches for Antigua and Barbuda, just four days after Irma swept past the islands.

Jose is expected to turn a bit more toward the northwest and eventually the north and is not expected to make landfall in the United States at this time.

Storm number three, Hurricane Katia, is in the southwest Gulf of Mexico and is a category 1 storm.

Some strengthening is expected and it’s possible Katia will approach major hurricane status prior to making landfall in Mexico early Saturday, according to the NHC.

Finally, a tropical wave is expected to emerge off the coast of Africa in the next two days.

According to the NHC, environmental conditions may be favorable for the development of this system as it progresses west-northwestward over the eastern Atlantic Ocean early next week.

Chance of further development through the next five days is 20 percent.

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