Disturbance in Caribbean could reach tropical depression status, NHC says

Surface wind analysis from Tuesday morning showing a weak cyclonic circulation in the southwest Caribbean Sea

Surface wind analysis from Tuesday morning showing a weak cyclonic circulation in the southwest Caribbean Sea

The government of the Bahamas has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for the northwestern Bahamas, including the Abacos, Andros Island, Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island, and New Providence. The skillful European global model keeps it fairly disorganized, and probably not quite a tropical depression, while the US global model and high-resolution hurricane models are all indicating intensification to a tropical storm.

The trough of low pressure in the western Caribbean Sea was showing signs of some further organization Friday morning, leaving the National Hurricane Center to increase the odds of development.

The next name on the list of 2017 Atlantic Storm Names is 'Philippe'.

Most track model tracks have the storm avoiding South Florida, but forecasts on systems before they organize can be many miles off.

The U.S National Hurricane Center advised Friday morning that the system had a 60 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm by Sunday, when a second cold front will make conditions less favorable.

Close proximity to land is likely to limit development of the system during the next 24 hours, forecasters said.

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Hurricane hunters will investigate the disturbance Friday if necessary.

The National Weather Service in Miami said the best chances for rain for South Florida are Saturday afternoon and evening, with showers beginning late tonight.

The storm, officially named or not, will accelerate northeastward across Cuba then over the Florida Straits, perhaps brushing South Florida and/or the Bahamas during Saturday night.

Up to five inches of rain is possible in southern Florida, with isolated totals up to eight inches.

A slight risk for excessive rainfall that could cause flooding was issued by the Weather Prediction Center for areas from the Keys through parts of the Treasure Coast. That's more than a foot above the 15.5 feet that the Army Corps of Engineers is comfortable with.

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