Published On: Fri, Aug 18th, 2017

Tropical Storm Harvey approaches the eastern Caribbean

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Tropical Storm Harvey was located between Barbados and the Windward Islands on Friday August 18, at 9 in the morning.

The patch of churning clouds and storms east of the Caribbean reached tropical storm strength Thursday evening and is expected to become a hurricane after the weekend.

At this point it is no threat to Florida or The Yucatan Peninsula, but other systems bear watching.

In case the hurricane heads towards the Yucatan Peninsula, the Mexican National Defense Secretariat (Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional) will be implementing the DN3 Plan, and all the population needs to be aware of any indications of evacuation or other contingency plans.

Additionally, tropical moisture in the atmosphere is expected to make much of the weekend wet across South Florida starting toward mid-day Saturday.

“We have entered the peak of the season, which is mid-August through late October,” said Dennis Feltgen, spokesman for the National Hurricane Center, in an email.

Hurricane Gert was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone Thursday evening. It was heading north in the Atlantic off Canada, was no threat and was expected to dissipate. But there were two other disturbances in the Atlantic as well that could become tropical cyclones.

“The other two systems are too far out to determine if there will be any impacts onto the U.S. and Florida,” Feltgen said.

At 8 a.m. Friday, Tropical Storm Harvey was about 55 miles west of Barbados with maximum sustained winds of about 40 mph. The system was moving west at 18 mph.

By Monday morning it is expected to be Hurricane Harvey. Maximum wind speeds for hurricanes start at 74 mph and can exceed 155 mph.

Advisories issued by the National Hurricane Center for Tropical Storm Harvey show its so-called cone of error, which depicts on a map the range of impact zones. The cone has it moving straight west through the Caribbean Sea before making landfall as a hurricane anywhere between Nicaragua and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

If it stays to the southern end of the cone, closer to Nicaragua, it could make landfall on Monday. If it stays to the north, closer to Mexico, landfall could be Tuesday.

The two disturbances in the Atlantic are still at least 2,000 miles from Florida. Those include:

— A low pressure system about 1,200 miles east of the eastern perimeter of the Caribbean. This one has been given a 70 percent chance of formation over the next 48 hours. But atmospheric conditions will be hostile to its survival, forecasters say.

— A wave of showers and thunderstorms near the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa has been given a 40 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone over the next 5 days.

Although it’s early, forecasts show them tracking in the general direction of Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. Neither disturbance poses an immediate threat to Florida.

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