Tropical depression in Caribbean could become hurricane by midweek

08 October, 2018, 00:43 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Tropical wave could affect western Caribbean

A tropical storm was forming in the Caribbean Sea on Saturday and could reach the Carolinas by Thursday, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said in a 5 p.m. update. The storm is most likely to make a direct strike on Florida's Gulf Coast, but coastal Alabama and MS also may deal with direct storm effects and should monitor forecasts.

Cuba has issued a tropical storm warning for the provinces of Pinar del Rio and Isle of Youth. The current forecast cone from the hurricane center shows the storm may hit land somewhere between Mobile, Ala., and northwestern parts of Florida.

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With satellite data showing maximum sustained wind speeds of 40 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center upgraded what had formerly been called Tropical Depression 14 to tropical storm status early Sunday afternoon. It means that the cluster of clouds and thunderstorms near the Yucatan Peninsula is expected to strengthen into the next tropical depression or tropical storm. Depending on how quickly this system moves northward, the center of Michael could approach the Gulf Coast as soon as late Tuesday.

Just past the peak of Hurricane Season, Northwest Florida is watching a tropical depression off the east coast of Mexico near Belize.

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced Sunday morning he will declare a state of emergency for the storm. The declaration will free up resources for storm preparation. It could become a hurricane by Tuesday night. "Isolated amounts of 12" of rain are possible in western Cuba. On the forecast track, the low or the tropical cyclone should move across the Yucatan channel near the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula through tonight, and then move into the southern Gulf of Mexico on Monday. The hurricane center said Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft were en route to investigate the storm.

The only other storm in the Atlantic is Tropical Storm Leslie has zig-zagged in intensity. We will closely monitor it as it becomes more organized.

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