As Hurricane Harvey spins toward Barbados, another storm looming in the Atlantic Ocean has seemingly set its sights on South Florida. The wave is still days away from nearing the Sunshine State, but forecasters say it's time to pay attention to this one.
For now, the wave simply called Distrurbance 1 is just a band of severe thunderstorm activity and low pressure located about 700 miles north-northeast of the Leeward Islands. Thanks to some heavier wind shear, forecasters slightly downgraded the wave's chance of developing into a tropical storm over the next five days, but they still give the system a 60 percent chance of strengthening.
In fact, NOAA says the system would take very little development to rapidly organize into a tropical depression later today or tonight.
The disturbance is expected to continue moving "west-northwestward at about 20 mph for the next few days," according to the NOAA advisory, although there's a possibility the storm could fizzle out in the Atlantic over the next few days, with NOAA saying that upper-level winds are becoming less favorable for development of a storm.
But given that August is peak hurricane season, which NOAA predicted would be particularly severe this year, it's certainly worth paying attention to what becomes of this system.
There's a second disturbance brewing farther east in the Atlantic, which has a 40 percent chance of developing in the next five days but is forecasted to curve off to the north, missing the Caribbean and South Florida. Though maps showing three active areas blossoming at once might look disturbing, experts say it's actually not uncommon this time of year.
"Even in late August, it is not common to get three simultaneous Atlantic tropical disturbances capable of developing into tropical cyclones," Bob Henson writes on the Weather Underground's blog, Category 6.
If these disturbances end up turning out anything like Tropical Storm Emily, it might be time to bring out the umbrellas and brace yourself for four inches of heavy rain next week. For now, it might not be a bad idea to grab some extra rum — and, you know, food and water and such — at Publix this weekend.
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