ORLANDO, Fla. – Ten days after the peak of hurricane season, the tropics are very active, with Hurricane Fiona expected to reach Category 4 status on its approach toward Bermuda, a new tropical storm and a tropical wave, now known as Invest 98L, that many models show potentially moving into the Gulf of Mexico.
Fiona dumped copious amounts of rain over the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, where a 58-year-old man died after police said he was swept away by a river in the central mountain town of Comerio. Another death was linked to the blackout — a 70-year-old man who was burned to death after he tried to fill his generator with gasoline while it was running, officials said.
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Meanwhile, Invest 98L, several hundred miles east of the Windward Islands, has become better organized. Additional development is expected, with a tropical depression likely to form within the next few days as the system moves west to west-northwest at 15 to 20 mph across the eastern and central Caribbean Sea.
The NHC said Invest 98L has a 70% chance of development over the next two days and a 90% chance over the next five days.
Many long-range computer models show the system heading into the Gulf of Mexico, but its projected path and strength are uncertain.
11 AM EDT Tue: Satellite data indicate that the tropical wave located several hundred miles east of the Windward Islands has become better organized. Additional development is expected, and a tropical depression is likely to form within the next few days. https://t.co/tW4KeGe9uJ pic.twitter.com/MdAKr39FYH— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 20, 2022
Elsewhere, Tropical Depression 8 strengthened to Tropical Storm Gaston Tuesday in the north-central Atlantic.
Gaston is expected to veer further northeast into the Atlantic throughout the coming days. It poses no threat to the United States.
Invest is simply a shortened version of the word investigation. When an area of low pressure in the tropics is designated as an Invest by the National Hurricane Center, computer forecasts on that specified system can begin. The iconic spaghetti plots, computer models showing the projected path of the system, then become available.
A number and a letter then follow the Invest. For the Atlantic, it’s the letter L. Once all of the numbers are used up, the NHC will start up again with 90.
The next named storm will be called Hermine.
Hurricane season ends Dec. 1.
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