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Tropical disturbance likely won't affect Labor Day weekend weather

What could become this year's fifth tropical storm continues to churn to the west-northwest at about 10 mph on a path most model projections take toward the eastern Bahamas by the weekend.
/ Source: wfla.com

What could become this year's fifth tropical storm continues to churn to the west-northwest at about 10 mph on a path most model projections take toward the eastern Bahamas by the weekend.

However, it probably will not be close enough to affect the Labor Day weekend weather.

The National Hurricane Center says the disturbance is becoming better organized but forecasters are still looking for a closed circulation that would make it a tropical storm or depression.

Forecasters give a better than 50 percent chance of that happening in the next day or sooner.

The disturbance is about 350 miles east of the Leeward Islands at the edge of the Caribbean Sea, with winds of about 25 mph.

Forecast models aren't uniform on where it may go. Most predict it will pass north of the Caribbean and near the east edge of the Bahamas by Sunday. Some models take the disturbance into the Caribbean.

It is too far away to tell whether it will affect the United States.

Forecasters have watched the disturbance for more than a week as it emerged from Africa as a potent tropical wave.

Intensity models predict the disturbance will become a tropical storm by Wednesday. After that, the models split on just how much stronger it will get.

Some models expect it will reach hurricane strength by Thursday, and others keep it below hurricane strength until Saturday or longer.

Most of the models show the winds peaking below Category 2 hurricane strength and beginning to diminish by Sunday.

If it does become a tropical storm, it would be called Erika.

The hurricane center is also watching a tropical wave between Africa and the Cape Verde Islands that has a less-than-30 percent chance of developing into a depression or tropical storm by Thursday.

However, it is becoming better organized as it moves to the west-northwest at 10 to 15 mph.