Aug. 17 (UPI) — A low pressure system east of the Caribbean has the potential to grow into the Atlantic’s eighth hurricane, though forecasters said it is not likely to threaten the United States.
The area, now referred to as Potential Tropical Cyclone 9, has the likelihood of growing into Hurricane Harvey. Early projections show its most likely track is west through the lower Caribbean Sea, putting it on a trajectory to make landfall on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
As of Thursday, PTC 9 was located 500 miles east of the Lesser Antilles on the eastern border of the Caribbean Sea. Forecasters have given it an 80 percent likelihood of growing into a tropical cyclone in the next two days and a 90 percent likelihood over the next five days. Presently, it has sustained winds of 35 mph. A U.S. “hurricane hunter” plane was en route Thursday to investigate the disturbance.
PTC 9 is one of four tropical hotspots being tracked in the Atlantic by the National Hurricane Center. One is Hurricane Gert, a category-2 storm in the middle of the Atlantic. It poses no threat to land and is expected to dissipate.
Two other low pressure systems farther east than PTC 9, about 2,000 miles from the coast of Florida, are also being watch, forecasters said. It remains too soon to say whether they pose any threat to land. One of the areas has a 40 percent chance of growing into a tropical cyclone; the other has a 60 percent likelihood.
The weather systems come in what is generally the busiest time of year for the Atlantic hurricane season.