MIAMI, (Reuters) – A weather disturbance in the western Caribbean Sea could develop into a tropical depression off the Central American coast in the next couple of days, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said yesterday.
The mass of showers and thunderstorms was about 100 miles (160 km) east of the Nicaragua and Honduras border and was expected to bring heavy rains and gusting winds to parts of those countries, National Hurricane Center forecasters said.
“Only a slight increase in organization would result in the formation of a tropical depression later today or tonight,” the forecasters said.
They gave the system a 60 percent chance of developing into a tropical cyclone in the next two days. If it develops rotating winds of 39 miles per hour (63 km per hour), it would become Tropical Storm Rina.
The system was moving northwest but computer forecasting models diverged widely on its eventual path. Some models took it over Honduras while others took it toward Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and into the southeast Gulf of Mexico. Another model took it over Cuba and southeast Florida.
It was too early to tell whether it would threaten energy interests in the Gulf of Mexico.
Forecasters were also keeping watch on a broad low-pressure area in the Atlantic Ocean several hundred miles east of the Windward Islands.
That disturbance was moving slowly west-northwest toward the Caribbean Sea and forecasters gave it only a 10 percent chance of developing into a tropical cyclone in the next two days.