ORLANDO, Fla. – Two named storms continue to swirl in the tropics, but for Florida, all eyes remain on Invest 98L as it has a very good chance of becoming a tropical system on a potential path into the Gulf of Mexico.
As of Thursday at 8 p.m., Invest 98L, over the southeastern Caribbean Sea, has a 90% chance of development over the next two days and a 90% chance of development over the next five days.
Although upper-level winds are currently inhibiting development, the National Hurricane Center said the environment is forecast to become more favorable in a couple of days, and a tropical depression is likely to form at that time.
The disturbance is forecast to move west-northwest across the eastern Caribbean Sea during the next day or two, and it’s expected to be over the central Caribbean Sea this weekend.
Many computer models want to bring it into the Gulf of Mexico by the middle of next week, but it’s still too early to know where it will head and how strong the potential storm might be. It’s unknown whether Florida will be impacted by the system.
Meanwhile, Category 4 Hurricane Fiona was 195 miles west of Bermuda and continued to move to the north-northeast at 21 mph with maximum sustained wind speeds of 130 mph as of Thursday at 11 p.m.
Fiona will bring rough surf to Central Florida beaches in the coming days.
The National Hurricane Center announced tropical storm conditions were beginning in Bermuda, and hurricane conditions are expected overnight.
Elsewhere, Tropical Storm Gaston was 205 miles northwest of Faial Island in the Central Azores and will remain out to sea.
There’s also an area of low pressure several hundred miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands. It has a 30% chance of development over the next five days.
Another low off the coast of Africa has a 60% chance of development over the next five days.
The next named storm will be called Hermine.
Hurricane season runs through November.
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