Orlando Sentinel: FLORIDA – Tropical Depression 13 is sprinting through the Caribbean, with some models forecasting that it run toward or through Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center’s 8am update.
First, TD 13 is 830 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph moving west-northwest at at a 21 mph, the NHC said. Further strengthening into a tropical storm is expected later Thursday.
If it does so, it will take on the name Laura. TD 13 is expected to move north of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by Saturday.
There is a tropical storm watch for multiple Caribbean Islands including St Maarten, Saba, St Eustatius, Antigua, Barbuda, St Kitts, Nevis, and Anguilla.
TD 13 was expected to develop into the thirteenth depression of the 2020 season earlier in the week, but dry air prevent it doing so. That same dry hair is relinquishing its grip, giving TD 13 breathing room to grow, said FOX 35 meteorologist Jayme King.
“There’s a potential for this thing to ramp up,” King said.
“It’s still a lot of days out for us to assess the local impact. There’s a lot of uncertainty in the track,” King said. “But one thing we can say is it’s adjusted more to the south and this trend could continue. High pressure near Bermuda could be a factor guiding this system, any high fluctuation will be the ultimate factor in this thing gaining latitudes and affect Florida as a strong tropical storm or hurricane.”
Meanwhile, a tropical wave is moving through the Caribbean with high odds of development. The system is producing an area of showers and thunderstorms over the central Caribbean Sea.
Satellite imagery indicates the wave has become better organized and has a 90% chance of developing into a tropical depression or tropical storm in the next two to five days; although meteorologists say their is a chance of it developing Thursday night.
The wave is forecast to pass over the Yucatan Peninsula over the weekend.
Also, a second tropical wave is moving off the African continent while producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms. This wave is forecast to move into the Atlantic Friday where slow development is predicted. It has a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression or tropical storm in the next two days, as well as a 40% chance of doing so in the next five days.
If either becomes a tropical storm after Laura it will be named Marco.
The 2020 hurricane season is on a pace to be one the busiest ever, having already spawned 12 named storms including two hurricanes.
After Marco, the remaining names would be Nana, Omar, Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky and Wilfred. The season runs through Nov. 30.