Tracking the Tropics: Tropical Depression 5 forms, expected to become Elsa soon


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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Potential Tropical Cyclone Five continued to organize throughout the day and became Tropical Depression Five on Wednesday night. It’s now expected to become Tropical Storm Elsa Thursday morning.

The NHC had been monitoring the system, and one other, that emerged off the coast of Africa this week as tropical waves. They started issuing advisories on Potential Tropical Cyclone Five Wednesday evening. By 11 p.m. ET, the NHC had deemed it a tropical depression.

As of the 11 p.m. advisory, the system is about 1,020 miles east-southeast of the Windward Islands with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph. It’s moving to the northwest and is forecast to pass near or over parts of the Windward Island or southern Leeward Islands by Friday. It’s then expected to move into the Caribbean Sea and move near the southern coast of Hispaniola on Saturday.

The NHC says the depression is expected to become Tropical Storm Elsa early Thursday morning.

A tropical storm warning has been issued for Barbados, Martinique and St. Lucia. A tropical storm watch is in effect for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as Guadeloupe. Forecasters say rainfall totals will be between 3 to 6 inches with maximum totals of 8 inches.

While part of Florida is included in the cone of uncertainty that the NHC issued Wednesday night, changes in the track are expected in the next 24 to 48 hours.

The second area being monitored by the NHC is a tropical wave just east of the Lesser Antilles producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms. While the NHC says significant development of the system is unlikely, it still could bring heavy rainfall to parts of the Lesser Antilles in the next few days.

The second system has been given a low near zero percent chance of formation both in the next 48 hours and the next five days.

So far this year, we’ve seen four named storms: Ana, Bill, Claudette and Danny. Danny was the most recent – a short-lived tropical storm that made landfall along the coast of South Carolina before dissipating over Georgia.

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