Over the last several days, an upper-level low pressure system positioned north of the Leeward Islands has gradually been acquiring more and more tropical characteristics, including a surface circulation and thunderstorm activity wrapping more evenly around the center. Model guidance is in fairly good agreement on this feature developing into a subtropical or tropical storm, and the next name on the list is Fay.
The thermal and wind structure is on the border between subtropical and tropical, and a case could be made for either designation right now. But since both subtropical storms and tropical storms get named, it would still become Fay (or a subtropical/tropical depression first).
In an average season (using 1981-2010), we would have 10 named storms and an ACE of 88.3 by this date... but this year we're at 5 named storms and the ACE is 35.8. IF this gets named today, it will be the latest date for the 6th named storm since 1994 (Florence formed on November 2).
Global and regional models also agree on a future track: continue to drift slowly to the northwest, then begin turning to the northeast by Sunday. It is not near land now, but could make a close approach to Bermuda on Sunday (that's the black speck near 32N 65W on the map below).
Elsewhere, there's a tropical wave centered near 15N 50W (about 730 miles east of the Lesser Antilles) today that is heavily favored by global models to develop into something significant in the coming days as it heads west-northwest. If and when it shapes up a little more, I will give a full update on it.
Although the season has been quite inactive, it is important to note that October can still produce some very intense hurricanes. It's not over 'til it's over, so stay tuned.
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