Tropical storm warnings have been issued to many areas of the Caribbean islands as the poorly defined disturbance is expected to become the first hurricane of 2022 by the end of the week.
National Hurricane Center 8 Heavy rain and tropical storm winds are likely to start late tonight for islands in the southern Caribbean for what meteorologists are calling a possible second tropical cyclone, the prime minister’s adviser said. A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Air Force One confirmed that the system had not yet acquired regulation to classify it as a tropical storm with no center of circulation.
However, hurricane experts suspect the system may intensify in the first hurricane of the season as it moves into the southwestern Caribbean later this week toward Central America.
The system is located about 10 miles east of Trinidad, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph moving west at 25 mph, as of the 8 p.m. update.
A tropical storm warning is in place for Trinidad and Tobago; Grenada and Dependencies; the Venezuelan islands Islas de Margarita, Coche and Cubagua; and the islands of Bonaire, Curaçao and Aruba. There was also a tropical storm watch issued for parts of the coasts of Venezuela and Colombia.
The system has tropical gale force winds that extend outward up to 60 miles from the center of the system. If named, it would be Tropical Storm Bonnie. NHC gives it a 90% chance of forming in the next five days.
“On the forecast path, the system will pass near or over parts of the Southern Windward Islands tonight, and move over the southern Caribbean Sea or near the northern coast of Venezuela and the northeastern coast of Colombia on Wednesday and Thursday,” according to the NHC. “Conditions appear favorable for development if turbulence continues over water, and it is likely to turn into a tropical storm near the Southern Windward Islands or while moving westward through the southern Caribbean.”
Meteorologists are also watching for two other disturbances that have potential to become a tropical system.
The turbulence zone increased rainfall and thunderstorms overnight and over the northwest Gulf of Mexico. Further development is possible but the system is currently still unregulated. The NHC gives it a 40% chance of forming in a tropical system in the next two to five days, as it slowly drifts westward through the northern Gulf of Mexico and toward Texas.
“It could become a short-lived tropical depression near the coast before moving inland,” the NHC said. “Regardless of development, heavy rain will be possible along parts of the Texas coast later this week.”
Also, a tropical wave over the tropical mid-Atlantic Ocean produces unregulated showers and thunderstorms. The wave is expected to touch another tropical wave later this week and could develop. The NHC gave the wave a 20% chance of becoming a depression in the next five days.
If any of the systems are developed, it would be the second system of the season after Tropical Storm Alex, which dumped nearly one foot of rain over parts of Florida earlier this month.
After Bonnie, the next names will be Colin and Danielle.
A tropical system can be called a tropical depression without becoming a tropical storm condition. It was not named until the system withstands winds of 39 mph and was not named a hurricane until it withstands winds of 74 mph.
The 2022 season runs from June 1 to November. The year is expected to be another 30 years above normal for storms following the 30 designated storms for 2020 and 21 of 2021.