ORLANDO, Fla. — September is proving why it’s considered peak hurricane season as another tropical wave with very high chances of developing into a tropical depression moves in the direction of the Virgin Islands, according to the National Hurricane Center’s 8 p.m. update.
A low pressure system located over the central tropical Atlantic has become more organized as it slowly moves west where environmental conditions for tropical storm development are ideal.
The system has a 70% chance of becoming a tropical depression in the next 48 hours, and a 90% chance of doing so over the next five days, the National Hurricane Center said. It could eventually become Tropical Storm Imelda.
Most early predictions call for the system to pass north of the Virgin Islands and as it heads into the open Atlantic. However, at least two outlying computer models call for the storm to move south of the general consensus area and pass over the Virgin Islands.
A tropical depression forms when a low pressure area is accompanied by thunderstorms and produces winds below 39 mph. If and when the system gains more structure and maximum sustaining winds over 39 mph it will become a tropical storm.
A second system in the Gulf of Mexico has lost steam and structure, according to the center. Little development is expected before it moves inland along the northwestern Gulf coast Monday night or this morning.