System in Caribbean has 70 percent chance of tropical development


The second and third tropical systems of the 2018 Hurricane season have formed in the Atlantic, and one could bring showers and storms to the area over the weekend.

The latest forecast from the U.S. National Hurricane Center said, "At 1100 AM AST [1500 UTC], the center of Tropical Depression Two was located near latitude 10.2 North, longitude 41.4 West". The storm is forecast to become a hurricane by Friday or Saturday, but should get shredded by strong wind shear before it reaches the islands, forecasters said.

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Upper-level winds will become hostile by the time the system nears the Lesser Antilles this weekend. A hurricane watch is in effect for Dominica and a tropical storm watch is in effect for Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy. Five to nine of those would become hurricanes, while only one to four could be major storms with sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour. Even with such a far distance to travel there is already a hurricane watch for portions of the Lesser Antilles. Maximum wind speeds in this smaller than average storm are about 60 miles per hour.

Though the storm's intensity could still fluctuate unpredictably, its chances of regaining hurricane strength before reaching the Lesser Antilles, the arc of islands from the US Virgin Islands to Grenada, have dropped significantly, CNN meteorologists said. Originally, they had predicted 14 named storms, 6 hurricanes of which 2 would be major hurricanes.

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Ms Davis said: "We're watching two areas in the Atlantic for possible tropical development". The odds of this wave becoming an organized tropical system over the next 5 days sits at 50%.

The top sustained winds around Beryl increased to 65 miles per hour, but the storm is still very small in overall diameter.

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A tropical depression off the North Carolina coast is expected to strengthen into a tropical storm by Sunday, but is expected to move north and away from the Carolinas.