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Low Pressure Zone In The Atlantic Could Put Storm On A Track To Affect The Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico This Week

MIAMI — Forecasters say the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico need to watch a low-pressure area in the Atlantic Ocean, currently located midway between the coasts of Africa and South America.

Tracking northwest across the Atlantic and moving around 15 mph Sunday afternoon, that system has a 50 percent chance of developing into a tropical storm or depression over the next five days.

The activity in the Atlantic and Gulf figures in a hurricane season that hurricane center forecasters have projected to be above normal this year, brewing up anywhere between 11 and 17 named storms.

So far, only Tropical Storm Cindy has touched the Gulf states, bringing region-drenching rains in late June.

The shower activity associated with an elongated area of low pressure about 1,000 miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands is becoming slightly more organized.

Some additional slow development is possible during the next two to three days before the system encounters less favorable environmental conditions during the middle part of next week.

Forecasters put the chance of development over the next five days at 50 percent as the system moves generally west-northwestward across the tropical Atlantic Ocean at about 15 mph.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Franklin has formed in the Caribbean Sea about 100 miles off the coast of Honduras and headed for Mexico, according to an advisory issued Sunday night (Aug. 6) by the National Hurricane Center. Franklin is the sixth named storm of the 2017 hurricane season.

Heavy rains are expected as Franklin moves northwest across the Yucatan Peninsula Monday night and into Tuesday. As of 10 p.m. Sunday night, Franklin was steering north of Honduras and headed northwest around 13 mph toward the Yucatan, blowing maximum sustained winds near 40 mph.

Forecasters expect Franklin to strengthen into Monday just before reaching the Yucatan’s eastern coast and head west-northwestward across the peninsula, continuing to strengthen while crossing the Bay of Campeche in the Gulf of Mexico. From there, Franklin is expected to make landfall on mainland Mexico, where the tropical storm could strengthen into a hurricane.

So far, the hurricane center has placed stretches of the coast of Mexico under tropical storm warnings and watches, signifying tropical storm conditions are expected to reach those areas within 24 hours. A warning is in effect for the coast of Mexico from Chetumal to Campeche, and watches are in effect for Belize City north to the Mexico border as well as the coast of Mexico from Campeche to Sabancuy.

Rainfall ranging from 3 to 6 inches is anticipated in these areas, with isolated amounts around 12 inches possible. The hurricane center advises such rains could produce life-threatening flash floods.

Meanwhile, forecasters are also watching another low-pressure area in the Atlantic Ocean, currently located midway between the coasts of Africa and South America. Tracking northwest across the Atlantic and moving around 15 mph Sunday afternoon, that system has a 30 percent chance of developing into a tropical storm or depression over the next five days.

Tropical Storm Franklin and other activity currently in the Atlantic figure in a hurricane season that hurricane center forecasters have projected to be above normal this year, brewing up anywhere between 11 and 17 named storms. So far, only Tropical Storm Cindy has touched the Gulf states, bringing region-drenching rains in late June.

 

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands since 1989. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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