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System in the Caribbean could be tropical depression soon. Will it come to Florida? What models say

Michelle Marchante, Devoun Cetoute and Omar Rodríguez Ortiz, Miami Herald on

Published in Weather News

MIAMI — The Atlantic is packed — everywhere you look, there’s a system to watch.

Forecasters on Wednesday are watching five systems, including one in the southeastern Caribbean that Florida needs to keep a close eye on.

That tropical wave is bringing thunderstorms and gusty winds to the Windward Islands, the National Hurricane Center said in its 8 p.m. Eastern time advisory. The hurricane center expects the system will turn into a tropical depression within the next couple of days. Computer models say it could strengthen into Tropical Storm Hermine.

The hurricane center is giving the disturbance a 70% chance of formation through the next 48 hours and a 90% chance of formation through the next five days.

Forecasters expect the system will move west-northwest across the eastern Caribbean during the next day or two, and then be over at the central Caribbean this weekend. However, after that, the models split on where it will go. Forecasters say it’s also too soon to know what type of hazards the system could bring to Florida, if any.

“Early model runs show it could impact the U.S. However, it depends on how fast and strong it gets,” WSVN meteorologist Vivian Gonzalez said on Twitter Wednesday morning.

 

The early model runs — popularly known as spaghetti models — are storm prediction paths. The closer they are to each other, confidence in their prediction grows. But these models often get it wrong.

Regardless of development, locally heavy rainfall and gusty winds are likely to affect the Windward Islands Wednesday night, and northern Venezuela, northeastern Colombia, and the ABC island chain during the next couple of days, the hurricane center noted.

A NOAA hurricane hunter aircraft was investigating the system Wednesday night.

Also on forecasters’ radar: Hurricane Fiona, a powerful Category 4 storm forecast to approach Bermuda late Thursday. Tropical Storm Gaston is swirling in the north-central Atlantic, far from land. And two other disturbances in the eastern Atlantic, one which could turn into a tropical depression in the next several days.

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