A tropical wave off the coast of Africa could become a depression early next week as it moves across the Atlantic, the National Hurricane Centre said Thursday.
Forecasters gave the system an 80 percent chance of forming over the next five days, warning it’s likely to encounter hurricane-generating conditions as it nears the eastern or central tropical Atlantic.
As of 2:00AM Friday, the system was located around 400 miles south of the Cabo Verde Islands.
It is forecast to move west or west-northwest at 10 to 15 mph for the next several days.
“Environmental conditions are forecast to be conducive for gradual consolidation and development, and a tropical depression is likely to form by early next week over the eastern or central tropical Atlantic Ocean,” NHC said.
The National Hurricane Centre is also tracking a strong tropical wave over the southeastern Caribbean Sea, with forecasts showing it moving toward the Gulf of Mexico.
That system is creating cloudiness and thunderstorms as well as sudden “tropical-storm-force wind gusts,” the update stated.
The Atlantic hurricane season is nearing its busiest time of the year.
The number of tropical storms and hurricanes on average usually begin to climb in mid-August and peak by mid-September.
There have been five Atlantic tropical storms so far this season.
Forecasters are calling for the year to be above normal, with 11 to 17 named storms, five to nine hurricanes and at least two major hurricanes with winds topping 111 mph.