There’s a high chance that a tropical depression will form in the Caribbean soon.
The National Hurricane Center has raised the probabilities of a depression forming to 70 percent as of Thursday afternoon but have changed the timeline and added a disclaimer.
Forecasters originally said a tropical depression could form as soon as this weekend — but as of Thursday afternoon that has been pushed back to early next week.
They also added that there’s a chance the system could move over land in Mexico or Central America, which would limit or end its chances to develop. That’s not a sure thing; it could stay over the Caribbean or southern Gulf.
The tropical wave being watched was in the western Caribbean on Thursday afternoon and was well defined, according to the hurricane center.
It will be in a good area for strengthening, and if it stays over water a tropical depression could form by early next week.
It’s too soon to say if it will affect the United States.
The hurricane center cautioned those in Belize, Cuba and on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula to keep an eye on this system, which could bring heavy rain to some of those same areas.
There’s also another area in the tropics being watched as of Thursday. This tropical wave was located just east of the Lesser Antilles, the hurricane center said.
It was disorganized on Thursday but is forecast to track westward and could move into an area with more favorable conditions to develop early next week.
The hurricane center put the chances of a depression forming over the next five days at 20 percent.
There have been 23 named storms so far this season in the Atlantic. Forecasters have used up the entire 2020 storm name list and have had to resort to the Greek alphabet for names. The next name on the list is Gamma.
The Atlantic hurricane season ends on Nov. 30.