A patch of churning clouds and storms east of the Caribbean formed into Tropical Storm Harvey on Thursday evening.
It has been given a 100 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone over the next two days.
Its also expected to become a hurricane by Monday morning. At this point it is no threat to Florida.
But that was just one tropical hot spot being monitored in the Atlantic as we enter the busiest time of the Atlantic hurricane season.
We have entered the peak of the season, which is mid-August through late October, said Dennis Feltgen, spokesman for the National Hurricane Center, in an email.
Hurricane Gert was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone Thursday evening. It was heading north in the Atlantic off Canada, was no threat and was expected to dissipate. But there were two other disturbances in the Atlantic as well that could become tropical cyclones.
The other two systems are too far out to determine if there will be any impacts onto the U.S. and Florida, Feltgen said.
Tropical Storm Harvey is headed toward the Windward Islands at 18 mph and is expected to bring two to four inches of rain with it. Maximum winds are gusting up to 40 mph, forecasters said.
By Monday morning it is expected to be Hurricane Harvey. Maximum wind speeds for hurricanes start at 74 mph and can exceed 155 mph.
Advisories issued by the National Hurricane Center for Tropical Storm Harvey show its so-called cone of error, which depicts on a map the range of impact zones. The cone has it moving straight west through the Caribbean Sea before making landfall as a hurricane anywhere between Nicaragua and Mexicos Yucatan Peninsula.
If it stays to the southern end of the cone, closer to Nicaragua, it could make landfall on Monday. If it stays to the north, closer to Mexico, landfall could be Tuesday.
The two disturbances in the Atlantic are still at least 2,000 miles from Florida. Those include:
-- A low pressure system about 1,200 miles east of the eastern perimeter of the Caribbean. This one has been given a 70 percent chance of formation over the next 48 hours. But atmospheric conditions will be hostile to its survival, forecasters say.
-- A wave of showers and thunderstorms near the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa has been given a 30 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone over the next 5 days.
Although its early, forecasts show them tracking in the general direction of Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. Neither disturbance poses an immediate threat to Florida.
An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter was scheduled to investigate the potential cyclone that could become Harvey on Thursday afternoon.
The Potential Tropical Cyclone advisories are new in 2017. Formerly, disturbances would have to become at least a depression before advisories were issued. The reason for the potential-cyclone advisories is to give people more warning, giving them more time to prepare.
National Hurricane Center
(National Hurricane Center)
Meanwhile, The Weather Channels Bryan Norcross noted Thursday on Twitter that 25 years ago today, Tropical Storm Andrew was named. Seven days later, Hurricane Andrew would bring catastrophic damage to parts of then-Dade County (now Miami-Dade), especially the southern portion of the county.
[T]he NHC track forecast for Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine, highly likely to become Tropical Storm Harvey (we'll know soon in the 5 p.m. advisory)
is to move across the Caribbean Sea and well south of Florida. The other two systems are too far out to determine if there will be any impacts onto the U.S. and Florida.
We have entered the peak of the season, which is mid-August through late October.
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