FLORIDA, United States, Saturday September 16, 2017 – Tropical Lee has emerged, becoming the 12th named storm of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season. But it’s not that system that’s posing a threat to parts of the Caribbean at the moment.
A disturbance that’s much closer to the region – less than 800 miles off the Lesser Antilles – and which is expected to develop into a storm later today and almost a hurricane by next Monday, has triggered tropical storm watches for Dominica, St Lucia, Martinique and Guadeloupe. And the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami says others will follow soon.
“Interests elsewhere in the Lesser Antilles should monitor the progress of this system. Additional tropical storm or hurricane watches will likely be issued later today,” it said.
At 11 a.m., the system was located about 755 miles east southeast of the Lesser Antilles, moving towards the west at 22 miles per hour, and expected to approach the Leeward Islands on Monday.
It had maximum sustained winds near 35 miles per hour at that time, but according to the NHC, “strengthening is expected during the next 48 hours. The disturbance is forecast to become a tropical storm later today and could be near hurricane strength when it approaches the Leeward Islands.”
Meantime, Tropical Storm Lee which developed earlier today is still some distance away.
The storm, carrying maximum sustained winds near 40 miles per hour, was located about 655 miles west southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands at 11 a.m. and moving towards the west at 12 miles per hour.
“A westward or west-northwestward motion with a decrease in forward speed is expected during the next couple of days. Little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours,” the NHC said.
It’s anticipated Lee might be short lived as a storm and could weaken to a depression by the middle of next week.