Update 11 p.m. : Tropical depression six formed in the eastern Atlantic Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center said. The tropical system was about 715 miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands. It was moving to the northwest at 14 mph with maximum winds of 35 mph.
It could strengthen into a tropical storm on Wednesday, the hurricane center said.
Update 8 p.m.: The cluster of thunderstorms in the eastern Atlantic still has a 90 percent chance of becoming a tropical system within the next five days, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The showers and thunderstorms associated with a low pressure area were about 650 miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands. It could become a tropical depression tonight or Wednesday.
Update 1:30 p.m.: The National Hurricane Center is giving a cluster of thunderstorms in the eastern Atlantic a 90 percent chance of forming into a tropical system within the next five days.
Forecasters said the low pressure system, which is associated with a tropical wave, could become a depression tomorrow as it moves west northwest into the central Atlantic.
But even if the system becomes a depression, or possibly the next tropical storm – Fiona – it’s unlikely to affect the U.S. It is expected to take a more northerly track by the end of the week.
“This track will likely take the system too far to the north for it to be a long-range threat to the Lesser Antilles Islands, though we can’t rule out a threat to Bermuda yet,” wrote meteorologist and Weather Underground founder Jeff Masters in a blog this morning.
Masters said although this system, which is dubbed 98-L, may not do much, there are more African easterly waves behind it.
While forecast models are inconsistent in what the waves will become, a wave scheduled to exit the coast on Saturday could develop sometime next week, Masters said.
“The second half of August typically brings a strong uptick in development of systems originating near Cabo Verde,” wrote AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski. “A number of these systems have been some of the strongest hurricanes in the Atlantic, including hurricanes Allen, Andrew, Gloria and Hugo.”
Sosnowski agreed a wave expected to leave Africa this weekend could become a tropical cyclone next week.
Previous story: The National Hurricane Center is giving a cluster of thunderstorms off the coast of Africa a 80 percent chance of forming into a tropical system within the next five days.
Forecasters this morning said the area of cloudiness and showers located about 500 miles west southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands is associated with a tropical wave and that conditions are expected to be favorable for development.
A tropical depression is likely to form by the end of the week as the system moves west-northwestward toward the central tropical Atlantic.
If the storm gains named status, it would be Fiona. The next update will be at 2 p.m.
While the system is in an area of relatively moist air for now, it still has a thick cloud of dry Saharan dust to its north, which could limit development in the long run.