Nigel strengthens into the Atlantic's 5th hurricane of 2023 season
AccuWeather meteorologists have all the latest details on where the latest Atlantic hurricane is headed and who may feel its influence.
A new tropical system gaining strength over the Atlantic Ocean could follow in the footsteps of Hurricane Lee into late September.
Nigel strengthened into the 5th hurricane of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season early Monday morning after becoming the 14th named storm of the season over the weekend. All five hurricanes that have developed this season have done so since Aug. 26. AccuWeather forecasters say Nigel is likely to reach Category 2 status, with wind in excess of 96 mph.
Nigel was packing winds of 85 mph, making it a Category 1 storm, as it churned roughly 690 miles east-southeast of Bermuda as of Monday evening. The storm was moving northwestward at 12 mph.
Storm expected to become a Category 2 Hurricane
There is a high risk for additional strengthening of this system as it moves across the central Atlantic into the early week, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Adam Douty.
This image of Hurricane Nigel over the central Atlantic Ocean was captured on Monday, Sept. 18, 2023 (AccuWeather RealVue™ satellite)
The storm is expected to move over waters that have not been churned up and cooled down by what was once powerful Category 5 Hurricane Lee.
"The factors driving the potential for strengthening as the system moves along are very high ocean water temperatures and light winds higher up in the atmosphere, known as wind shear to meteorologists," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Bill Deger said.
AccuWeather meteorologists say these factors will combine to aid in the strengthening of the storm.
Where will Nigel track?
The future path of Tropical Storm Nigel has been closely scrutinized by AccuWeather forecasters for days.
As of Monday, the highest likelihood scenario is for the storm to be pulled northward and then northeastward as the week progresses. This track would curve the storm away from Bermuda prior to any major impacts reaching the islands.
"The storm could bring rough surf and rip currents to Bermuda as it passes by to the east of the islands during the middle of the week," Douty said.
Any shifts in the storm's track could bring greater or lesser impacts on Bermuda.
"Should the storm track farther to the west, rain and gusty winds may also impact Bermuda. Aside from these potential impacts to Bermuda, no additional impacts to land are expected," Douty said.
This past week, AccuWeather was discussing an atmospheric scenario in which future Nigel would track much closer to the east coast of the United States than what is currently being predicted. AccuWeather forecasters say the risk of a path toward the U.S. has decreased significantly as of early this weekend, but this will continue to be monitored in the coming days.
"Regardless of the position of the storm, however, more beach and coastal hazards can occur along the east coast of the United States, leading to more trouble for late-season beachgoers," AccuWeather Meteorologist Lauren Hyde said. Any increase in wave action would occur at the beaches during the latter part of next week.
“Beyond Bermuda, it is possible that Nigel survives as a tropical wind and rainstorm and brings impacts to the United Kingdom this weekend,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said. “At the very least, Nigel will create a zone of rough seas and squalls as it churns northeastward over the North Atlantic and will remain a concern for shipping.”
Prior to any impact from Nigel, wind, downpours and stormy seas from Tropical Rainstorm Lee will swing across the United Kingdom during the middle days of this week, Sosnowski added.
What else is happening in the Atlantic?
Besides Nigel, Margot dissipated in the north-central Atlantic Ocean on Sunday morning. Any remaining moisture from what was once Margot can bring an uptick in showers to parts of the Azores during the latter part of the week.
Elsewhere, there are currently two zones posing chances for development later this week. One area of high chance is located across the eastern and central Atlantic as another tropical wave moves off the coast of Africa. The other threat, with a medium chance of development late this week, was located along the Southeast coast of the United States.
Want next-level safety, ad-free? Unlock advanced, hyperlocal severe weather alerts when you subscribe to Premium+ on the AccuWeather app. AccuWeather Alerts™ are prompted by our expert meteorologists who monitor and analyze dangerous weather risks 24/7 to keep you and your family safer.Report a Typo
Top StoriesMore Stories