System Now Likely to be Tropical Depression by the Weekend

Odds that a broad low pressure system moving slowly across the Atlantic toward the Caribbean will develop into a larger storm have jumped in the previous 48 hours, and now the National Weather Service is predicting it will develop into a tropical depression over the weekend.

In its 8 p.m. Wednesday update, the NHC said the tropical wave is producing a large area of cloudiness and shower activity several hundred miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands. Environmental conditions are not expected to be conducive for significant development of this disturbance during the next couple of days while it moves westward at about 15 mph across the central tropical Atlantic Ocean.

However, conditions that on Tuesday were questionable for tropical development are now forecast to become more conducive for development over the weekend.

A tropical depression is likely to form by early next week several hundred miles east of the Lesser Antilles, the NHC predicted, putting the likelihood for development within the next five days at 70 percent.

Meanwhile, the system that brought heavy rain and flooding to the territory on Wednesday was centered from central and eastern Cuba northward to the central and southeastern Bahamas, and is expected to move northward across Florida and the northwestern Bahamas on Friday.

The system, is expected to produce locally heavy rainfall over the Bahamas and Florida during the next few days, but conditions are marginal for development over the weekend while the system turns and accelerates northeastward off the southeastern U.S. coast.