A westbound Caribbean disruption is still poorly organized but is still strongly suspected of later becoming Tropical Storm Bonnie later today, according to the National Hurricane Center.
“If I just took a cursory look at conventional satellite data, I would think the system is already a tropical storm,” said NHC hurricane specialist Eric Blake. “There is a large ball of convection near the center, along with banding forming in most quadrants of the system. However, microwave data does not show much low-level structure, with only broad curvature and no obvious evidence of a well-defined center.”
The 8th of the National Hurricane Center on Wednesday said heavy rains and tropical gale-force winds are likely to hit islands in the southern Caribbean late into the night in what forecasters are calling a potential Tropical Cyclone Two. A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Hurricane Hunter aircraft confirmed that the system has not yet received the organization to be classified as a tropical storm and has no traffic center.
The system is located about 185 miles east-southeast of Curacao, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph moving west at 30 mph as of the 8am update. While the system has remained disorganized, hurricane specialists suspect that could change over the next 12 hours.
“One reason the system hasn’t been able to close a loop is that it’s very fast,” Blake said. But models show that the disturbance stabilizes in the evening. Then the system should wait two days to intensify. It could bounce back in strength by Friday, Blake said.
A tropical storm warning applies to Trinidad and Tobago from 8 a.m.; Grenada and its dependencies; Venezuelan Islands, Islas de Margarita, Coche and Cubagua; and the islands of Bonaire, Curacao, Aruba and parts of the coasts of Venezuela and Colombia.
The system has tropical gale force winds that extend up to 60 miles outward from the center of the system. If named, it would be Tropical Storm Bonnie. The NHC gives it a 90% chance to form over the next five days.
“On the projected route, the system will pass near the southern Caribbean Sea and northern coast of Venezuela today, near Colombia’s Guajira Peninsula early Thursday, and over the southwestern Caribbean Sea on Friday,” the NHC said.
Meteorologists are also eyeing two other disturbances that are likely to become a tropical system.
A fault area has increased its showers and thunderstorms overnight and over the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. Further development is possible, but the system remains unorganized at this time. The NHC gives it a 40% chance of evolving into a tropical system over the next two to five days as it slowly drifts west across the northern Gulf of Mexico and toward Texas.
“It could become a short-lived tropical depression near the coast before moving inland,” the NHC said. “Regardless of development, there will be heavy rain later this week along parts of the Texas coast.”
A tropical wave over the central tropical Atlantic also produces disorderly showers and thunderstorms. The wave is expected to make contact with another tropical wave later this week and could develop. The NHC gave the wave a 10% chance of becoming a depression over the next two days and a 30% chance over the next five days.
If either system develops, it would be the second system of the season after Tropical Storm Alex, which dumped nearly a foot of rain over parts of Florida earlier this month.
After Bonnie, the next two names would be Colin and Danielle.
A tropical system could be called a tropical depression without attaining tropical storm status. It will not be named until the system has sustained winds of 39 miles per hour, and will not be designated a hurricane until it has sustained winds of 74 miles per hour.
The 2022 season runs from June 1st to November 11th. The 30th after the 30 named storms of 2020 and the 21st of 2021 are predicted to be another above-average year for storms.