Tropical storm possible from system east of Windward Islands

ST JOHN’S, Antigua, August 31, 2009 – Another tropical storm appears to be forming in the Atlantic, east of the Windward Islands, and forecasters are tracking it closely.

For now, according to the National Hurricane Centre (NHC), it’s a broad area of low pressure that’s producing disorganised shower and thunderstorm activity.

But the forecasters say conditions appear favourable for further development.

“This system could become a tropical depression during the next day or so as it moves west-northwestward around 15 miles per hour. There is a high chance, greater than 50 per cent, of tropical cyclone formation in this area during the next 48 hours,” the NHC said this morning.

“Interests in the Lesser Antilles are being advised to monitor the progress of this system,” it added, noting that the system was located about 700 miles east of the Windward Islands.

If forecaster’s predictions are correction, this would be the fifth named storm for the 2009 Atlantic Hurricane Season and would be called Erika.

The previous four – Ana, Bill, Claudette and Danny – mostly avoided the Caribbean although Bill, the only hurricane so far, created large waves that pounded Bermuda’s coast and caused power outages.