While Florida appears likely to avoid the full wrath of once-Category 5 Hurricane Dorian, new tropical activity in the Atlantic is grabbing the attention of forecasters at the same time Tropical Storm Fernand formed in the Gulf of Mexico.
Fernand was upgraded from a tropical depression to a tropical storm in the western Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday afternoon and appears to pose no threat to Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center. To the east of Florida, however, the hurricane center says a tropical wave in the far-east Atlantic has now become Tropical Depression 8 — a system they believe will become a tropical storm by Wednesday. And that’s not all.
The hurricane center is also monitoring a tropical disturbance in the western Atlantic that has a 40-60 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression the next 48 hours.
Mexico’s government has issued a tropical storm warning for the northeast coast of the country on Tuesday afternoon in preparation for Fernand. The storm has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and is moving west at 7 mph. It is expected to drop 6 to 12 inches of rain with isolated pockets of 15 inches in Mexico, which could lead to life-threatening mudslides.
Meanwhile, the tropical depression that’s projected to upgrade to a tropical storm by Wednesday has sustained winds at 35 mph and is traveling east at 7 mph. Forecasters project both its speed and wind strength will pick up in the coming days.
If Tropical Depression 8 is to become a tropical storm, it will be named Gabrielle.
No warnings are in place for the tropical activity in the Atlantic yet, but forecasters say they are keeping a close eye on both.
“Showers and thunderstorms associated with a trough of low pressure, located several hundred miles south of Bermuda, were showing some signs of organization,” the hurricane center wrote of the tropical disturbance. “Periods of heavy rainfall are likely to impact Bermuda."