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    Atlantic tropical activity to pick up following birth of Tropical Storm Fiona

    By By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist.
    August 20, 2016, 10:55:09 AM EDT

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    Following Tropical Storm Fiona, as many as two additional tropical depressions or storms could take shape in the Atlantic over the next week.

    After about 10 days of quiet conditions, the Atlantic came to life as Tropical Depression Six formed on Tuesday night, strengthening to become Tropical Storm Fiona on Wednesday afternoon.

    Hurricane Earl, which struck Belize early this month, was the last system to form prior to Fiona.

    The projected path toward the central Atlantic would not take Fiona near any islands or large land mass through this weekend.


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    "Fiona is interacting with a large area of dry air, dust and disruptive winds, which will likely lead to gradual weakening this weekend," according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.

    If Fiona remains relatively weak, then it could wander close to Bermuda later next week in the form of spotty showers and thunderstorms.

    There are two other disturbances being tracked in the Atlantic.


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    One will move off the western coast of Africa this weekend.

    "Atmospheric conditions could become very favorable for strengthening next week," Kottlowski said of the system near Africa.

    The stronger the system is while moving off the coast of Africa, the better the chance of overcoming the dry air and disruptive winds in its path.

    Early speculation on the path suggests this system could curve north prior to approaching the islands in the Caribbean Sea.

    In between Fiona and the system near Africa is yet another disturbance that has a chance of becoming a tropical depression into early next week.

    Steering winds would direct this system much farther to the west than the other two features.


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    At the very least, a pulse of showers and thunderstorms will affect the Lesser Antilles later Tuesday or Wednesday. However, residents and visitors in the Caribbean islands and Bahamas should closely monitor this disturbance as it has potential to bring more significant impact, perhaps as a tropical storm or hurricane during the middle and latter part of next week.

    Following Fiona, the next names on the list of tropical storms in the Atlantic basin for 2016 are Gaston and Hermine.

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    A train of disturbances traveling from Africa to Central America has been ongoing for the past several weeks.

    Dry air and disruptive winds have been a deterrent in this area during much of the summer, but that is beginning to change. Waves of moisture from Africa to the Lesser Antilles have become more extensive this week. The trend is likely to continue in the coming weeks.

    Where the disturbances travel into a zone of moist air, light winds and warm water, rapid strengthening could occur.

    The second half of August typically brings a strong uptick in development of systems originating near Cabo Verde (previously known as as the Cape Verde) Islands. A number of these systems have been some of the strongest hurricanes in the Atlantic, including hurricanes Allen, Andrew, Gloria and Hugo.

    The area around Cabo Verde creates a prime breeding ground for tropical systems through much of September.

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