We've got Invest L-99 problems and a hurricane could be one
About halfway between the African coast and the Caribbean islands, Gaston's future is not particularly bright, according to forecasters.
Gaston's maximum sustained winds had increased Tuesday to 65 miles per hour.
"Showers and thunderstorms have become more concentrated overnight and are showing signs of organization, but the system still appears to lack a well-defined circulation", the hurricane center wrote in its 8 a.m. Wednesday Tropical Weather Outlook report. The system could become Tropical Depression Eight at any time, but may not become a tropical storm until the end of the week or this weekend. The prediction is that the weather system will take a general west to west-northwest path near Puerto Rico on Wednesday night. It began moving northwest, and the NHC is forecasting it may strengthen to a hurricane later today, weaken back to a tropical storm Thursday, then regain strength sometime Saturday.
A system off the coast of Africa developed into Tropical Storm Gaston early this morning, though most tracking systems have it veering off into the North Atlantic.
The disturbance has been given an 80 percent chance of further development over the next five days. They give these areas a number from 90 to 99 and start collecting data on them, running computer models and watching for possible development. While Gaston is expected to be a hurricane for several days, it, too, will move harmlessly through the open waters of the Atlantic as it curves out to sea well east of Bermuda.
September is the peak of Hurricane Season, and the tropics are heating up right on cue. Other models show a storm hitting the Southeastern United States.
Accuweather reports that such a storm could threaten the Bahamas and Florida, but would likely see its growth capped by the mountains of Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, and Cuba.
As hurricane season continues to ramp up now is a good time to go over your hurricane preparedness plan.
While all interests in Florida should monitor the latest forecasts closely, everyone from the Carolinas to Texas should still pay attention.
No watches or warnings have been issued in connection with this storm, and it is now not forecast to make landfall.