JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It looks like any other Tropical Depression, but what sets TD 15 apart is its unusual eastward location so close to Africa so very late in the calendar year.
October tropical storms have never been spotted this far east in the tropical Atlantic Ocean since satellite tracking began in 1966.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) predicts the depression could become Tropical Storm Nestor Tuesday.
The poorly organized depression is expected to pass close to the Cabo Verde islands Tuesday, located near 15.6 degrees north of the Equator and 20.9 west longitude.
The previous eastern tropical storm record was 26 degrees west longitude set in 1978, according to Dr. Phil Klotzbach, tropical scientist at Colorado State University.
The eastern Atlantic is more hostile to tropical systems after September because tropical waves become less robust and winds in the upper atmosphere also become less favorable for tropical storm formation.
Many times when systems do develop in October, they are classified as subtropical storms. Since 1968, 19% of Atlantic named storms are subtropical in October and nearly 1/3 are subtropical in November.