On August 8, a tropical wave emerged from the west coast of Africa and entered the Atlantic Ocean. Tracking toward the west, the depression began to exhibit signs of convective organization on August 11. The system continued to develop, and it is estimated that Tropical Depression Ten formed at 1200 UTC on August 13. At the time, it was located about 1,600 miles (2,600 km) east of Barbados. Upon its designation, the depression consisted of a large area of thunderstorm activity, with curved banding features and expanding outflow. The environmental conditions were predicted to quickly become unfavorable, however. The depression moved erratically and slowly towards the west, and wind shear inhibited any significant intensification. Late on August 13, it was "beginning to look like Irene-junior as it undergoes southwesterly mid-level shear beneath the otherwise favorable upper-level outflow pattern". The wind shear was expected to relent within 48 hours, prompting some forecast models to suggest the depression would eventually attain hurricane status.
By early August 14, the shear had substantially disrupted the storm, leaving the low-level center of circulation exposed from the area of convection, which was also deteriorating. After meandering, the storm began to move westward. Forecasters expected it to resume a northwestward track as high pressure to the south of Bermuda was forecast to weaken and another high was predicted to form southwest of the Azores. By 1800 UTC on August 14, the strong shear had further weakened the storm, and it no longer met the criteria for a tropical cyclone. It degenerated into a remnant low, and the National Hurricane Center issued their final advisory on the cyclone. Moving westward, it occasionally produced bursts of convective activity, before dissipating on August 18.
Tropical Depression Twelve formed over the southeastern Bahamas at 2100 UTC on August 23, partially from the remains of Tropical Depression Ten. While the normal standards for numbering tropical depressions in the Atlantic stipulate that the initial designation be retained when a depression regenerates, satellite imagery indicated that a second tropical wave had combined with Tropical Depression Ten north of Puerto Rico to form a new, more complex weather system, which was then designated as Tropical Depression Twelve. In post-season reanalysis, it was found that the low-level circulation of Tropical Depression Ten had completely detached and dissipated; only the remnant mid-level circulation moved on and merged with the second tropical wave. As a result, the criteria for keeping the same name and identity were not met. Tropical Depression Twelve later became Hurricane Katrina.