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  1. Hurricane

While Tampa Bay monitors tropical wave, system off Africa poised to become next named storm

[National Hurricane Center]
[National Hurricane Center]
Published Aug. 31, 2018

The National Hurricane Center continues to monitor a tropical wave that could make for a soggy Labor Day weekend across Tampa Bay while watching a system that's likely to become the sixth named storm of the 2018 hurricane season.

The tropical wave, situated near Hispaniola, is forecast to spread west to west-northwest but could fall apart as it encounters strong winds, according to the National Hurricane Center.

RELATED: Expect a wet Labor Day weekend. The tropical wave won't help.

Forecasters give it less than a 10 percent chance of development, but it could regenerate once it enters the Gulf of Mexico early next week before dissipating once again.

Either way, it could produce even more rain starting Tuesday than the region has already experienced, forecasters said.

It will continue a pattern of clear mornings but powerful afternoon thunderstorms that will last through Labor Day weekend.

Meanwhile, Potential Tropical Cyclone Six is still churning off the coast of Africa and could strengthen into Tropical Storm Florence later Friday.

As of 5 a.m., the system was located about 215 miles east-southeast of the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands and had maximum sustained winds of 35 mph — with higher gusts — while moving west-northwest at 12 mph.

Those islands are under a tropical storm warning as the storm is expected to produce up to 8 inches of rain and potential life-threatening floods as it intensifies in the Atlantic.

However, forecasters said the storm will likely turn into the open Atlantic — possibly as a hurricane — but not affect land.

Times staff writer McKenna Oxenden contributed to this report.

We're monitoring a very weak tropical wave near Puerto Rico this morning. As this feature nears Florida next Mon/Tues, expect the potential for heavy rainfall to increase, leading to a continued threat of areal and river #flooding. #flwx pic.twitter.com/Jf2SUlaD7r

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