Sarasota Herald-Tribune: By Megan Kearney – The National Hurricane Center is issuing advisories on Potential Tropical Cyclone Six, a disturbance that is expected to impact the Caribbean this week.
Satellite imagery this afternoon continues to show the system is becoming better-organized, but the disturbance still does not yet have a well-defined closed circulation, the NHC reported in an updated advisory.
Data from the aircraft and surface observations indicate the disturbance has gained some strength: maximum sustained winds have increased to near 40 mph with higher gusts.
The system, located just south of Puerto Rico, is expected to become a tropical storm Tuesday evening as it moves over the northeastern Caribbean Sea, and the hurricane center is issuing tropical storm watches and warnings for the region. There is a 90 percent chance of formation within 48 hours.
The next name on the 2021 list for the Atlantic hurricane season is Fred. There have been no named storms since Hurricane Elsa dissipated one month ago on July 9.
There is a risk of wind and rainfall impacts in portions of Florida beginning Friday through the weekend, but it’s too soon to tell the timing, location, and magnitude of any potential impacts, given the uncertainty in the long-range forecast, according to the NHC. Interests in Florida should monitor updates to the forecast.
“The system is being guided along to the west-northwest by the circulation around a large area of high pressure over the central Atlantic,” AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said.
As a result, Florida and the Florida Keys may be in the path that the system will take. This scenario could unfold if the high-pressure area weakens and allows the system to turn more to the north later this week, Kottlowski explained.
Here’s the latest update from the NHC as of 8 p.m. Aug. 10:
What’s out there and where is it?
- Location: About 40 miles southeast of Ponce, Puerto Rico and about 240 miles east-southeast of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
- Maximum sustained winds: near 40 mph
- Present movement: west-northwest at 17 mph
- Minimum central pressure: 1009 mb
- Next advisory: 11 p.m. Tuesday
How likely is it to strengthen?
The system has gained some strength, with maximum sustained winds near 40 mph with higher gusts, according to data from the aircraft and surface observations. Conditions continue to appear favorable for strengthening before the system reaches Hispaniola in about 18 hours.
Gradual strengthening is forecast during the next day or so and the disturbance is expected to become a tropical storm this evening. Some weakening is likely while the system interacts with Hispaniola on Wednesday.
- Formation chance through 48 hours: high, 90 percent.
- Formation chance through five days: high, 90 percent.
Who is likely to be impacted?
On the forecast track, a turn back toward the west-northwest is expected to occur early Wednesday, and this motion will continue during the next few days. The disturbance is forecast to pass near the southern coast of Puerto Rico Tuesday night, and be near or over Hispaniola on Wednesday, and be near the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands Thursday.
Heavy rains are likely over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Heavy rainfall could lead to flash, urban, and small stream flooding and potential mudslides across the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The greatest threat for flooding impacts will be across the eastern and southeastern portions of Puerto Rico.
Tropical storm conditions are expected in the warning areas in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Tuesday nig, and in the Dominican Republic by early Wednesday.
Tropical storm conditions are possible elsewhere along the northern coasts of the Dominican Republic, northern Haiti, the Turks and Caicos, and the southeastern Bahamas beginning late Wednesday.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:
- Puerto Rico, including Culebra and Vieques
- US Virgin Islands
- Dominican Republic on the south coast from Punta Palenque eastward and on the north coast from Cabo Frances Viejo eastward
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:
- Dominican Republic on the north coast from Cabo Frances Viejo to the Dominican Republic/Haiti border
- Haiti from the northern border with the Dominican Republic to Gonaives
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- Southeastern Bahamas
A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area.
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