Forecasters are watching a tropical depression that could grow into a hurricane
A tropical depression churning in the Atlantic strengthened into the fourth tropical storm of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season on Saturday.
Forecasters are closely watching the newly named Dorian, which could threaten the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico by midweek. The storm is forecast to strengthen and could be near hurricane strength as it approaches the Lesser Antilles on Tuesday, according to the National Hurricane Center’s 5 p.m. update.
A separate disturbance in the Atlantic, which has been bringing rain and storms to parts of South Florida since Friday, is likely to strengthen into a tropical or subtropical depression by early next week as the system moves northeast off the coast of Florida.
The next named storm would be called Erin.
Tropical Storm Dorian strengthened quickly over the weekend, going from a disturbance to a tropical depression Saturday morning before becoming a named storm.
At 5 p.m., Dorian was about 725 miles east-southeast of Barbados. It is now a growing concern for people in the central and northern Lesser Antilles islands, the National Hurricane Center said Saturday. The center urged residents to monitor the depression’s progress, as tropical storm conditions could begin as soon as Monday evening in those areas.
Saturday evening, winds in Dorian were at 40 mph and the system was moving west at 12 mph.
The track shows it approaching the Lesser Antilles islands as a hurricane by Tuesday afternoon and then Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republican on Wednesday and Thursday.
Weather Channel meteorologist Jim Cantore had urged residents in the Bahamas to keep an eye on this disturbance before its upgrade.
There is now a new “Disturbance 2” that formed Saturday morning just off the upper Texas and southwestern Louisiana coasts that is given a 10% chance of developing this weekend and over the next five days.
“The system is likely to move inland over eastern Texas and western Louisiana before tropical cyclone formation can occur,” the NHC said.
Saturday afternoon, the National Weather Service office in New Orleans advised: “If this system maintains tropical characteristics, prominent tropical banding may develop in some locations which could largely lead to much heavier rainfall and flooding concerns.
“Pinpointing exact locations is difficult at this time, and will continue to message flash flooding concerns for Sunday and into Monday generally across the entire area, with locally enhanced regions of rainfall possible.
“Flash Flood Watches at this time will be later determined if necessary, but will continue to keep a close eye on this system should any highlights become needed.”
The Sun Herald contributed to this report.