8 P.M. UPDATE: Harvey is headed toward the Windward Islands with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. A tropical storm warning is in effect for Martinique, St. Lucia, Barbados, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. A tropical storm watch is in effect for Dominica. The next update will be at 11 p.m.
Meanwhile, shower and thunderstorm activity associated with an area of low pressure about 1,000 miles east of the Leeward Islands has a 70 percent chance of developing into a tropical system. The next tropical outlook will be at 2 a.m.
Update 5 pm: Tropical Storm Harvey, the eighth named storm of the year, has formed, the National Hurricane Center said in a 5 p.m. advisory. It said a Hurricane Hunter plane that flew into the system had clocked top sustained winds at 40 mph, 3 mph over the threshold to become a tropical storm. At 5 p.m., the storm was about 250 miles east of Barbados and was moving west at about 18 mph. Its forecast track sends it into Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula as a minimal hurricane early next week. It said the system will bring rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches, with potentially life-threatening flash floods and mudslides, to the Windward Islands.
Update 2pm: A Hurricane Hunter plane is flying into Tropical Depression 9, which could become Tropical Storm Harvey by later today, the National Hurricane Center said in a 2 p.m. update. At 2 p.m., the system was about 295 miles east of Barbados, with 35 mph sustained winds at 35 mph. It was moving west at 17 mph.
Update 11 a.m.: Tropical Depression 9 has formed and could become Tropical Storm Harvey as early as this afternoon, the National Hurricane Center said at 11 a.m. in its first advisory on the system.
At 11 a.m., the depression was about 365 miles east of Barbados, or about 2,000 miles east-southeast of Palm Beach. It was heading due west at about 17 mph, and the 5-day forecast pushes it into Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula early next week.
It had top sustained winds of 35 mph, just 2 mph below the threshold to become a tropical storm. Tropical storm warnings were posted for Martinique, Barbados, St. Vincent, and the Grenadine and St. Lucia, and a watch for Dominica.
The Hurricane Center also said at 11 a.m. that Hurricane Gert, in the North Atlantic, is “quickly becoming extratropical, and the transition process should complete later today,” the update said. It said the system should bang into, and be swallowed by, another extratropical system in the next 48 hours.
10:30 a.m.: Hurricane Gert, far to the north, is no threat to Florida, and neither are three systems moving their way across the ocean, at least for now, according to the National Hurricane Center’s 8 a.m. Tropical Weather Outlook.
The low-pressure system about 550 miles east of the Lesser Antilles became better organized overnight and could be a tropical depression later today or tonight. It has an 80 percent chance of forming in the next 48 hours. The hurricane center said it plans to issue advisories around midday.
A second area about halfway between the Lesser Antilles and the African Coast is moving west at 15 to 20 mph. The outlook did give the system a 50 percent chance of forming in the next 48 hours. But, it said, “upper-level wind are expected to become less conducive for tropical cyclone formation” by this weekend.
And a tropical wave near the Cabo Verde Islands, just off the African coast, could develop during the next several days while it moves westward to west-northwest at about 15 mph, the outlook said. It said the chance of formation in the next five days is 40 percent.
Gert is several hundred miles south of Cape Race, Newfoundland, and racing into the North Atlantic.