Tropical Storm Patty, the season’s 16th, formed in the Atlantic northeast of the Bahamas, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Patty, with top winds of 40 miles (65 kilometers) per hour, was 255 miles northeast of the central Bahamas, according to a 5 p.m. New York time advisory from the Miami-based center. The storm’s winds just exceed the 39 mph threshold at which a system becomes a tropical storm and is given a name.
“There are a couple of factors coming together that should weaken the cyclone,” Eric Blake, a hurricane specialist, said in a forecast analysis. He cited wind shear and dry air as reasons Patty won’t strengthen.
Patty’s emergence ties the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season with 2008, 2003 and 1936 as the fifth-most active on record. It also means more storms have formed in the basin than forecasters at both the U.S. Climate Prediction Center and at Colorado State University predicted at the start of the season.
The U.S. predicted nine to 15 storms. Colorado State researchers predicted 13. Hurricane season ends on Nov. 30.
In addition to Patty, the hurricane center is tracking a cluster of storms that has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical system in the next two days. It is 100 miles southeast of Barbados and may bring gusty winds and heavy rains across the Lesser Antilles through the weekend.