Tropical storm warnings have been issued for several Caribbean island territories as an ill-defined disturbance is projected to become the first hurricane of 2022 by the end of the week.
The 8 from the National Hurricane Center Tuesday afternoon’s advisory said heavy rain and tropical storm-force winds are likely to start late tonight in the southern Caribbean islands from what forecasters are calling Potential Tropical Cyclone Two. A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Hurricane Hunter aircraft confirmed that the system has not yet obtained classification to be classified as a tropical storm and does not have a center of circulation.
However, hurricane specialists suspect the system could intensify into the first hurricane of the season as it moves into the southwestern Caribbean Sea later this week and into Central America.
The system is located about 10 miles east of Trinidad, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph moving west at 25 mph, as of the 8 p.m. update.
There is a tropical storm warning for Trinidad and Tobago; Granada and its dependencies; Venezuelan islands Margarita, Coche and Cubagua Islands; and the islands of Bonaire, Curaçao and Aruba. A Tropical Storm Watch was also issued for portions of the Venezuelan and Colombian coasts.
The system has tropical storm force winds extending outward up to 60 miles from the center of the system. If given a name, it would be Tropical Storm Bonnie. The NHC gives you a 90% chance of training in the next five days.
“On the forecast track, the system will pass near or over portions of the southern Windward Islands tonight, and will move over the southern Caribbean Sea or near the northern coast of Venezuela and the northeastern coast of Colombia on Wednesday and Thursday. ”, according to the NHC. “Conditions appear ripe for development if the disturbance remains over water, and it is likely to become a tropical storm near the southern Windward Islands or as it moves west across the southern Caribbean Sea.”
Forecasters are also watching for two other disturbances likely to develop into a tropical system.
An area of disturbance has increased showers and thunderstorms overnight and over the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. Further development is possible, but the system currently remains disorganized. The NHC gives it a 40% chance of becoming a tropical system in the next two to five days, as it slowly moves west across the northern Gulf of Mexico toward Texas.
“It could become a short-lived tropical depression near the coast before it moves inland,” the NHC said. “Regardless of development, heavy rain will be possible along portions of the Texas coast later this week.”
Additionally, a tropical wave over the central tropical Atlantic is producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms. The wave is expected to contact another tropical wave later this week and could develop. The NHC gave the wave a 20% chance of becoming a depression in the next five days.
If either system develops, it would be the second system of the season after Tropical Storm Alex, which dumped nearly a foot of rain over parts of Florida earlier this month.
After Bonnie, the next two names would be Colin and Danielle.
A tropical system might be called a tropical depression without reaching tropical storm status. It does not receive the name until the system has sustained winds of 39 mph and it does not receive the name of a hurricane until it has sustained winds of 74 mph.
The 2022 season runs from June 1 to November 1. The 30th is forecast to be another above-normal year for storms after the 30 named storms of 2020 and 21 of 2021.
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