I'll start with the one that has the best shot of becoming our next tropical system. It's still very far out at sea but looks the most like a tropical storm at this point.
"Shower and thunderstorm activity has increased in association with a tropical wave located about 950 miles east-southeast of the southern Windward Islands," said the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in this morning's tropical outlook
. "Environmental conditions appear conducive for further development, and a tropical depression is likely to form during the next couple of days."
The system won't even reach the Windward Islands until Tuesday night and will then head into the southern Caribbean Sea. Right now, the NHC has a 70% chance of this system developing into our next tropical system during the next 48 hours, and a 90% chance of development within the next five days.
Conditions are favorable for this storm to develop. Wind shear (winds that change direction or speed as you go up in the atmosphere that typically tear apart tropical systems) is low in this area, giving the storm an environment to thrive. It's likely that this storm will continue to strengthen.
If this system becomes our next named system, it would take the name Bonnie
. To become designated as Bonnie, the storm must have sustained winds of at least 39 mph. If the hurricane hunters find winds of less than 39 mph, it could first become a tropical depression, but tropical depressions are given numbers; it won't get a name until it's at least tropical-storm strength.
If you look at forecast models for this potential system, the track it takes is incredibly far south, possibly impacting Venezuela and the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao). Keep an eye on this one if you are planning to travel there soon.
Since 1950, a named storm has never directly hit Aruba. But 13 storms have come within 60 nautical miles of the island, according to the NHC
Getting a system to develop this far south is quite normal for an early season storm. After all, that's where some of the warmest water is.
"The latitude at which easterly waves come off of the coast of Africa tends to shift northward over the next couple of months, so getting systems coming off of the coast at 8-10°N is fairly common for this time of year," said Phil Klotzbach, an atmospheric science research scientist at Colorado State University.
A NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate this system later on Monday, so we will know more about the storm by tonight.
"Regardless of development, locally heavy rainfall is possible over the Windward Islands and the northeastern coast of Venezuela Tuesday night and Wednesday," said the NHC.
Most of the models keep this storm on an extremely southern track through its lifespan, then possibly making landfall in Nicaragua by the weekend. Obviously, that can change, but in any event, this one won't have an impact on the US.