The National Hurricane Center upgraded a disturbance east of the Eastern Caribbean to the 13th tropical depression of the Atlantic season late Wednesday night.
Tropical Depression #13 is expected to become a tropical storm by late Thursday and could threaten the portions of the Caribbean as early as Friday, and ultimately become a formidable storm and threat to portions of the Bahamas and Florida.
Since the depression is in its early stage, the forecast track is not certain...if the system interacts with portions of the Caribbean strengthening may be limited, but if it stays far enough north of the islands it could become a formidable hurricane given favorable atmospheric conditions and a low shear environment.
The storm was moving quickly near 20 mph, traditionally these system must slow down a bit for significant development.
Nonetheless, this system could ultimately threaten Florida and portions of the Gulf of Mexico (at least eastern part) early to mid-next week.
If and when upgraded to a tropical storm, the next name on the list is "Laura". And Laura may be followed by a "Marco"...
Of perhaps more immediate concern to Louisiana and Acadiana is the disturbance labeled as 97L in the Central Caribbean.
There remains a high chance that 97L could become a tropical depression by Friday or Saturday as it approaches the Yucatan.
Models eventually bring this system toward the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico by Monday or Tuesday and could bring deep tropical moisture and locally heavy rains anywhere from Texas to the Florida Panhandle a couple of days before the next storm (TD 13) threatens portions of the Gulf Coast.
While models are not to high on development for 97L, it certainly may have tropical storm potential...and any tropical storm in the Gulf this time of year can easily become a hurricane too.
The bottom line: stay informed on development over the next few days and make ready your preparations if anything should come our way.
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