New Five Day Outlook for Tropical Storm Formation

New Five Day Outlook for Tropical Storm Formation

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Five Day Tropical Weather Outlook Five Day Tropical Weather Outlook
Two Day Tropical Weather Outlook Two Day Tropical Weather Outlook

Starting July 1, the Tropical Weather Outlook from the National Hurricane Center will be enhanced, to go out to five days. The current Tropical Weather Outlook gives the percent chance of formation of a new tropical system in the next two days.

When the new Outlook starts, there will also be a corresponding update in the graphic on the National Hurricane Center's website. The new graphic will be busier simply because it includes five days, rather than two days. The five day Outlook will not show positions of existing tropical depressions, or tropical storms or hurricanes.

Just like the current two-day formation Outlook, the newer version of the Tropical Weather Outlook follows tropical disturbances. It is not a guarantee that a depression or tropical storm will form. It is a probability of formation. A tropical disturbance is a cluster of thunderstorms in a wave of low pressure that typically drifts westward in the tropics. Disturbances are common and most do not become significant storms.

The shape of the area in the new Tropical Weather Outlook will be similar to the shape of the forecast cone that you are used to seeing for an existing tropical depression or tropical storm or hurricane. It may expand in width with time due to increasing uncertainty with time. It is likely that you will see different versions of the outlook on various websites and in social media so it is critical to not confuse a Tropical Weather Outlook with the forecast cone of an existing tropical storm or depression, or hurricane.

Note that the area covered by an Outlook does not tell you future strength or duration of whatever may form. It is possible for a tropical depression to form and then fade within a few days so that the area that the graphic covers does not turn out to be the area impacted by a short-lived system.

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