Tropical Storm Bonnie expected to form


Three storm systems are brewing in the Atlantic, one of which is likely to become a tropical storm in the southeastern Caribbean and another could become a short-lived tropical depression near Texas, forecasters said.

A third disturbance in the central Atlantic, which originated earlier this week off Africa’s west coast, is forecast interact with a tropical wave and to approach the boundary between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea this weekend, according to the National Hurricane Center.

It is forecast to move west-northwest in the Atlantic and head in the general direction of South Florida.

However, it could hit storm-shredding wind shear and dissipate once it reaches the Caribbean, according to AccuWeather senior meteorologist Paul Walker.

“Vertical wind shear, which is not good for it as far as development, is expected to increase,” he said. “It’ll probably lose organization.”

Walker said conditions, for now, generally work against systems heading toward South Florida.

“I think it continues to be a case where these things continue to plow westward to the southern portion of the main development region [in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico] and toward the south Caribbean and South American coast, at least for a while here,” he said.

As of Wednesday, its odds of developing had risen slightly to 30% over the next five days, up from 20% previously.

Meanwhile, the system in the northern Gulf of Mexico is expected to approach the coast of the Lone Star State in the next day or so. It’s possible it could become a tropical depression, but it would quickly lose that status once it moves over inland Texas or Mexico, the hurricane center said.

It has been given it a 40% chance of developing in the next two to five days.

“The big thing with this system … is it’s going to be bringing heavy rain to portions of Texas, Louisiana and up into Oklahoma and Arkansas,” Walker said.

Meanwhile, the system expected to become Tropical Storm Bonnie, currently known as Potential Tropical Cyclone Two, was located off Venezuela’s northern coast early Wednesday.

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As of 5 a.m. Wednesday, the system moving west at a fast clip of 23 mph.

An Air Force Hurricane Hunter airplane showed there’s no well-defined center of circulation yet, but the system is expected to become a tropical cyclone Wednesday.

It is possible that its maximum sustained winds could reach up to 75 mph next week, according to the NHC, which would put it at hurricane strength near northern Central America. If that happens, it would be short-lived as wind speeds are expected to drop sharply thereafter.

Walker said AccuWeather’s hurricane season outlook still seems on target for an above-average season even though there’s only been one named storm so far.

Tropical Storm Alex developed on June 5 and dissipated over the Atlantic Ocean about 48 hours later.

The next named storm to form after Bonnie would be called Colin.

Hurricane season runs June 1 through Nov. 30.