Two tropical disturbances were brewing in the Atlantic on Monday, and forecasters believe one of them will make its way into the Caribbean this week.
The tropical disturbances were rumbling less than a week after Hurricane Ian ravaged the southwest coast of Florida. The storm has killed around 100 people in 10 Florida counties, including one in Hillsborough. More than half of those deaths were in Lee County, where the worst of Ian made landfall, according to officials.
Neither disturbance posed an imminent threat to Florida or the United States on Monday.
One of the disturbances, a tropical wave that was producing showers and thunderstorms, was located a few hundred miles east of the south Windward Islands, according to an 8 p.m. update from the National Hurricane Center.
The wave is moving west at about 15 to 20 mph and forecasters expect it will reach the Windward Islands and eastern Caribbean by midweek. On Monday evening, the hurricane center gave it a 20% chance of strengthening into a tropical depression by Wednesday and 30% of doing so by the weekend. Those chances were slightly lower than forecasters gave it for strengthening earlier Monday.
Rodney Wynn, a meteorologist with the National Hurricane Center in Tampa Bay, said it’s too early to know what the disturbance could do, and where it could go.
“Right now, it has a low chance of development,” Wynn said. “Right now, there’s nothing to worry about.”
He followed up with a caveat — we are still in the heart of hurricane season, which runs until Nov. 30.
It doesn’t take long, he said, for a storm moving into the Caribbean to make its way into the Gulf of Mexico.
A second disturbance was a few hundred miles southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands at 8 p.m. Monday. Forecasters say the cluster of storms could develop gradually and become a tropical depression by the middle of the week. However, the disturbance likely won’t develop beyond that, according to forecasters, due to upper-level winds.
The system is expected to move northwest over the eastern Atlantic.
The disturbance has a 70% chance of further formation by Wednesday and an 80% chance by the weekend, forecasters said.
“Just always stay prepared, have your kit ready ahead of time,” Wynn said. “That way you’re not scrambling at the last minute to grab those supplies.”
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Tampa Bay Times Hurricane Ian coverage
FEMA: Floridians hurt by Ian can now apply for FEMA assistance. Here’s how.
THE STORM HAS PASSED: Now what? Safety tips for returning home.
POST-STORM QUESTIONS: After Hurricane Ian, how to get help with fallen trees, food, damaged shelter.
WEATHER EFFECTS: Hurricane Ian was supposed to slam Tampa Bay head on. What happened?
WHAT TO DO IF HURRICANE DAMAGES YOUR HOME: Stay calm, then call your insurance company.
MORE STORM COVERAGE: Get ready and stay informed at tampabay.com/hurricane.