New sub-tropical depression no threat to mainland
There's a new depression in the Atlantic Ocean north of Puerto Rico, the 17th of the season. It appears to be gathering strength, according to the National Hurricane Center. But forecasters, for now, are calling it a SUB-tropical depression because it does not yet seem to have the warm core characteristics of a true tropical cyclone.
In any event, it is expected to strengthen, and if it gets its act together, TD 17 could become Tropical Storm (or SUB-tropical Storm) Otto sometime later today.
UPDATE, 5 p.m.: TD 17 is now Subtropical Storm Otto. Forecasters say it could become a hurricane by late Thursday or Friday.
The good news is that even if it does reach storm strength - either tropical or sub-tropical - this thing is forecast to make a sharp right turn over the weekend and accelerate off to the northeast, bound for the Azores. It will not become a problem for the U.S. mainland.
So, this busy 2010 Atlantic hurricane season continues to generate lots of storms, and plenty of strong ones. But we remain mostly in a protective bubble. Dangerous surf, a whole lot of rain and flooding have been the worst of it for the mainland so far this year. No direct landfalls that I can recall.