The National Hurricane Centerís official forecast map issued at 11 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14, Tropical Depression Five located about 80 miles southeast of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands.
Computer generated forecast models for Tropical Depression Five.
Photo courtesy of NHC
Satelite image of the northwestern Caribbean Sea showing a area with a 70 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours.
Computer generated forecast models for potential tropical development in the northwestern Caribbean Sea.
The fifth tropical depression of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season formed about 11 p.m. Aug. 14 over the east Atlantic Ocean about 80 miles southeast of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands.
Maximum sustained winds were 35 mph. The storm is expected to become Tropical Storm Erin by Thursday. The depression was moving west-northwest at 14 mph.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for the southern Cape Verde Islands of Maio, Santiago, Fogo and Brava. Tropical storm conditions are expected in the area within the next 12 to 24 hours. The center of the storm is expected to move south and southwest of the southern Cape Verde Islands on Thursday.
It is still too soon to tell if the storm will affect the U.S. coast or Florida.
The intensity forecast shows the storm boasting wind speeds of 60 mph within 48 hours, before dropping to 45 mph within 120 hours. It should track west-northwest for the next three days before taking a westerly route.
The National Hurricane Center also is keeping a close eye on a low pressure system in the northwestern Caribbean Sea. Forecasters said the system could become a tropical depression before it reaches the Yucatan Peninsula on Thursday.
The storm is expected to move into the south Gulf of Mexico where upper-level winds could become a little less favorable for development. Tracking maps do not agree. Some show the storm coming ashore in Mexico while others take in on a path toward landfall in Louisiana or Mississippi this weekend.
If this system strengthens into a tropical storm, its name would be Fernand.
Peak season is here
The peak months of the Atlantic basin hurricane season are August through October. The basin includes the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationís updated outlook for the 2013 calls for an extremely active season with 13 to 19 named storms with six to nine strengthening into a hurricane and three to five becoming a major hurricane, Category 3 or higher.
Hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. No hurricanes have formed thus far this season.
Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray, hurricane experts from Colorado State University, also predict that the remainder of the 2013 season will have above-average activity.
Klotzbach and Grayís updated forecast issued Aug. 2 calls for 18 named storms, eight hurricanes and three major hurricanes. Their forecast also gives odds of 63 percent that a hurricane will affect the state of Florida and a 28 percent chance of a major hurricane affecting Florida.
Andrea was the seasonís first tropical storm. It formed June 5 in the east-central Gulf of Mexico. Andrea had winds of about 65 mph when it made landfall in Dixie County about 10 miles south of Steinhatchee about 5:40 p.m. June 7. Andrea brought wind and rain to Pinellas County, causing minor damage to the beaches. Rain bands from the storm spawned a tornado that touched down in Gulfport the morning of June 6.
Tropical Storm Barry started as a tropical depression on Monday, June 17, as it approached the coast of Belize on the northeastern coast of Central America. It strengthened into a tropical storm June 19 in the southern Gulf of Mexico and made landfall along the coast of Mexico June 20.
The third tropical storm was short-lived. Chantal formed July 7 over the central tropical Atlantic Ocean and degenerated into a tropical wave July 10.
Dorian was the fourth tropical storm of 2013. It formed the morning of July 24 in the eastern tropical Atlantic Ocean. It was downgraded to a tropical depression July 27.