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Tropical depression ‘likely to form’ in Caribbean Sea: Hurricane Center

A disturbance in the central Caribbean Sea could develop into a tropical depression as early as next week, according to forecasts from the National Hurricane Center. Its five-day forecast puts it on the same path as last month’s Hurricane Ian, which devastated Florida’s southwest coast.

The current storm in the Caribbean has more than a 60% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone within the next five days. Its current track shows that it is potentially heading west and northwest toward the Gulf of Mexico.

“Environmental conditions should be favorable for gradual development over the next few days, and a tropical depression is likely to form early next week as the disturbance moves west-northwest at 10 to 15 mph above the central Caribbean Sea,” the National said. Hurricane Center said in its 2 p.m. notice Saturday.

In this NASA image taken from the International Space Station, Hurricane Ian crosses the Caribbean Sea on September 26, 2022, just south of Cuba. The National Hurricane Center is monitoring a disruption in the Caribbean on October 29, 2022.
Photo by NASA via Getty Images

An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is in the area of ​​the disturbance to investigate the system.

“Regardless of development, local heavy rainfall is possible over parts of the Lesser Antilles, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico throughout this weekend,” the NHC said.

There is another storm in the western Atlantic Ocean that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is monitoring. It currently lies about 100 miles east of Bermuda and has a low percentage of tropical cyclone development.

Once a defined tropical system reaches 35 mph, it becomes a tropical storm. It becomes a Category 1 storm when it hits a minimum of 74 mph of sustained winds.

Although tropical Atlantic season systems had a rather dormant season, this storm comes on the heels of Hurricanes Ian and Julia over the past month. Ian slammed into Florida on September 28 as a high level Category 4 storm. He leveled numerous structures on barrier islands from Naples to Sarasota, with winds reaching over 150 mph in some places.

Ian left over 100 dead, hundreds injured and hundreds of thousands displaced and without electricity or running water for at least more than a week.

Ian drove through northeast Florida, wreaking havoc in Orlando and across Jacksonville. Ian downgraded to a tropical storm but regained Category 1 strength before making landfall again in South Carolina.

Julia followed a path somewhat similar to that of Ian. Both storms started in the Atlantic, about 10-12 degrees north of the equator. Ian took a northerly turn once he entered the Caribbean but Julia stayed on a westerly path. Julia continued to make landfall as a Category 1 storm in Nicaragua on October 8.

Hurricane season, which begins on May 1 each year, officially ends on November 30. There are no other tropical systems in the Atlantic or Pacific basins at the time, according to the hurricane center.


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