Forecasters are monitoring a tropical depression that has developed in the Atlantic, which could become the season’s sixth storm.
According to the National Hurricane Center, “the system is expected to move through the Leeward Islands on Friday or Friday night, bringing heavy rainfall and possible wind impacts.”
Tropical Depression Seven, which if named would become Fiona, has winds of 35 miles per hour. The storm is moving westward and may landfall in some of the Caribbean islands, including Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic over the weekend.
“The system could move near or over portions of the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Hispaniola this weekend and early next week, potentially bringing heavy rainfall and some wind impacts to these areas, and interests there should monitor the progress of the depression,” the Center added.
As of writing, updates from the storm watchers of the Caribbean Hurricane Network have come in from Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and Trinidad and Tobago.
“The Leeward islands and perhaps even the extreme Northern Windwards need to be on the lookout for TD 7, ‘Pre-Fiona.’ Hopefully according to the forecast no rapid intensification should take place,” said Fedaw Shercloh, who has been monitoring the tropical depression from Dominica.
In a recent Bloomberg report, the importance of closely monitoring storms from the Atlantic are emphasized.
“Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes are closely watched because they can shake energy markets if they get into the Gulf of Mexico, and Florida, which is often hit, is the largest producer of orange juice in the US,” the report said.
In the beginning of the month, Tropical Storm Danielle stirred up the Caribbean’s quiet hurricane season when it crossed the region with its maximum winds of 60mph.
Tropical Storm Earl swung by closely, producing powerful winds that lashed through Bermuda last week.
The hurricane center in a previous report noted that “no tropical cyclones formed in the basin during August,” calling it “unusual” since the last time this happened was in 1997.
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