For now they are calling it ‘Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine’, for the residents still reeling from Hurricane Dorian, the name does not matter.

Bahamian government officials issued a tropical storm warning for several northwestern islands last night, hard on the heels of the strongest hurricane on record that left a catastrophic trail of devastation in the path of Dorian.

According to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC), the tropical cyclone is expected to form in the coming hours near the northwestern Bahamas.

The storm system is expected to strengthen and become Tropical Storm Humberto.

Islands included in the Tropical Storm Warning includes The Abacos, Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island (including Freeport) and New Providence (including Nassau, the capital city of the Bahamas).

The storm system brewing is now posing a new threat to the northern islands of the Bahamas hard hit and still reeling from  Hurricane Dorian.

Forecasters say it could become a tropical storm over the weekend.

It comes as the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season reaches its statistical peak period in the weeks surrounding September 10 – the time when weather conditions favour storms forming quickly.

The NHC said teams searching for the countless people missing in the aftermath of Dorian will face heavy rain and tropical storm conditions in the days ahead, while grappling with what is already a “humanitarian crisis” in the Bahamas.

Current models show nearly four inches of rain could fall in the next five days in Marsh Harbour, a town in Abaco Islands, where Dorian destroyed at least 1,000 buildings.
Nassau, the hub of the nation’s hurricane recovery, could see 1.5 inches of rain by early next week.
The disturbance, located about 235 miles southeast of Great Abaco Island, was officially named Thursday as Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine.

The system could become a tropical storm within the next day or so, bringing heavy winds and rain within the northwest Bahamas by late Friday.

The NHC also advised residents on Florida’s east coast to monitor this storm system’s progress.

Tropical storm force winds “of at least 39 mph are expected in the northwest Bahamas by late Friday. The “potential tropical cyclone” is expected to produce “total rain accumulations of 2 to 4 inches through Sunday over the Bahamas”.

“This includes Grand Bahama Island and the Abacos, the islands most devastated by Hurricane Dorian.

“People in the Bahamas, as well as the Turks and Caicos, should be prepared for flooding from heavy rain, gusty winds from squalls and building surf conditions,” according to AccuWeather

As of 5pm EDT Thursday, the system was located about 235 miles southeast of Great Abaco Island with maximum sustained winds of 30 mph.

“Conditions are becoming favorable for a tropical depression or a tropical storm to form within the next day or so as the system moves toward the northwest through the northwestern Bahamas and toward the Florida Peninsula,” the NHC said.

Forecasters say this system “has an 80 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm within the next two days”.

If the system’s winds reach 39 mph, it would be called Tropical Storm Humberto.

What happens next is anybody’s guess.

One AccuWeather meteorologist said: “There are multiple possibilities with the track ranging from the Gulf of Mexico to the Florida Peninsula and the nearby Atlantic.”

At this stage, the NHC added: “Conditions appear conducive for development, and a tropical depression could form early next week while the system moves westward over the tropical Atlantic.”

It’s still too early to tell as we are still several days away from major impacts.
Meanwhile, the NHC said: “A tropical wave still near Africa’s west coast could become a tropical depression by early next week.”
What that tropical wave will do at this point in time, is anybody’s guess.