US Hurricane Center Says Tropical Storm Likely to Form in Caribbean

Forecasters with the U.S. National Hurricane Center say a weather system in the southern Caribbean and moving toward Puerto Rico is likely to become a tropical storm.

In its latest report, the center said its parent agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, sent a hurricane hunter aircraft into the system — referred to as Potential Tropical Cyclone Six — earlier Tuesday. Reports from the plane indicate that the storm had maximum sustained winds near 55 kilometers per hour with higher gusts, but it did not observe a well-defined closed circulation.

Forecasters say that gradual strengthening is expected and that the system is expected to become a tropical storm Wednesday. The forecast track has it passing near or over the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico later Wednesday and Wednesday night. Tropical storm warnings have been posted for those areas.

A potential forecast track for the storm showed it possibly threatening the coast of Florida by late next week, but forecasters said it is too soon to make those predictions with any certainty.

In its 2021 Hurricane Forecast earlier this year, NOAA forecasters predicted that during the hurricane season running between June and November 30, the United States would see between six and 10 hurricanes, with three to five of them being major storms.

They said there was a 60% chance the season could be busier than that, but nowhere near the record season of 2020, which saw 14 hurricanes, seven of them major.

Source: Voice of America