ORLANDO, Fla. – As two named storms churn in the Atlantic, there’s also a focus on a tropical wave, dubbed Invest 98L, that has the potential to enter the Gulf of Mexico, where conditions are ripe to strengthen a storm.
As of Wednesday, Invest 98L was producing shower and thunderstorm activity a few hundred miles east of the southern Windward Islands.
The system will likely become a tropical depression within the next few days as it is forecast to move west-northwest across the southern Windward Islands by late Wednesday and then toward the central Caribbean Sea later this week.
The National Hurricane Center said the wave has a 70% chance of tropical development over the next two days and a 90% chance over the next five days.
Long-range computer models take Invest 98L into the Gulf by the end of next week. It’s too early to know, however, where the weather system will eventually head or how strong it will be.
The next named storm will be called Hermine.
Meanwhile, Fiona, a Category 4 hurricane as of Wednesday at 8 p.m., continues to pack a punch with winds at 130 mph with higher gusts as it moves away from the Bahamas with some fluctuations in intensity possible on Thursday.
Fiona is moving toward the north near 9 mph. A turn toward the north-northeast with an increase in forward speed is expected by Thursday. On the forecast track, the center of Fiona will approach Bermuda late tomorrow, and approach Atlantic Canada late Friday.
Elsewhere, Tropical Storm Gaston was 850 miles west of The Azores and will continue to stay out to sea.
There is an area of low pressure close to the Cabo Verde Islands that has a 20% chance of development over the next five days.
And another area of low pressure closer to the coast of Africa has a 50% chance of development over the next five day.
Hurricane season ends December 1.
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