The National Hurricane Center is predicting an increased chance of a tropical depression or storm forming in the Atlantic and threatening Florida this week.
According to the NHC’s 8 a.m. Tropical Outlook, a large system developing north of Puerto Rico has a high chance of becoming a subtropical or tropical depression as it turns westward or west-southwestward over the southwest Atlantic by midweek, forecasters said. .
The chances of development in the next 48 hours increased to 70% on Sunday, and the chance of development over the next five days increased to 90%.
The Bahamas should monitor the storm’s progress along Florida’s east coast, the NHC said. Regardless of development, the risk of coastal flooding, storm surges, heavy rains, rough surf and beach erosion is increasing.
“The system is expected to be very broad and irregular initially,” forecasters said. “However, it may begin to take on subtropical or tropical characteristics early next week, and a subtropical or tropical depression may develop during the early to middle part of next week, while the system moves generally westward west-northwest into the southwest Atlantic.”
Forecasters said there was an “increased risk” of coastal flooding, storm-force winds and heavy rain along Florida’s east coast.
The system is forecast to bring heavy rain to the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands this weekend.
If it strengthens, it could become Tropical Storm Nicole.
The NHC is tracking a low pressure area several hundred miles east of Bermuda that has a 70% chance of developing into a named system in the Atlantic over the next two days.
The system is forecast to turn northeast and merge with a strong cold front by the middle of the week.
The sixth and seventh hurricanes of the season have formed with Hurricane Lisa hitting Belize on Thursday morning and Hurricane Martin becoming a tropical storm in the North Atlantic on Thursday afternoon.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs through November 30. The season’s 14 named systems by Martin have now met the NOAA forecast for 2022.
NOAA predicts an above-average season with 14 to 21 named tropical storms. This follows 2020’s record of 30 named systems and 2021’s record of 21 named storms.
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