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Tropical Storm Gaston becomes 2nd active named storm in the Atlantic, joins Fiona

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A tropical depression in the mid-Atlantic rose to Tropical Storm Gaston Tuesday afternoon, according to an update from the National Hurricane Center.

Gaston is the second named storm currently active in the Atlantic, along with the powerful Hurricane Fiona that continues to make its way toward Bermuda.

Forecast models show that Gaston is unlikely to threaten Earth. The hurricane center says it could affect the Azores, but the system is expected to become extratropical before next week.

Gaston currently produces maximum sustained gusts of about 40 mph. It’s moving from north to northeast at 17 miles per hour, but the hurricane center’s forecast expects it to flip over the weekend.

Tropical Storm Gaston is expected to remain largely in the mid-Atlantic, according to the National Hurricane Center's forecast.
Tropical Storm Gaston is expected to remain largely in the mid-Atlantic, according to the National Hurricane Center’s forecast. [ National Hurricane Center ]

There are two other tropical disturbances brewing in the Atlantic, one of which could develop into a tropical depression as it makes its way to the Caribbean in the coming days, forecasters say.

A tropical wave hundreds of miles east of the Windward Islands is becoming more organized, according to a 2 p.m. update from the hurricane center. Forecasters expect the wave to develop further and become a tropical depression within the next few days.

The wave, which was moving west at 15 to 20 mph, has a 60% chance of turning into a low in the next two days and an 80% chance over the next five days as it moves through the eastern and central Caribbean. Update said.

While it’s too soon to know any details, it could enter the Gulf of Mexico later next week, according to Spectrum Bay News 9 forecasters. Brian McClure, a meteorologist at Bay News 9, said the wave should be watched for in the coming days.

“Possibly a bit of a stir over the next week,” McClure said in a tweet on Tuesday. “Keep an eye on the move.”

Another tropical wave that appeared on Tuesday afternoon is expected to move off the west coast of Africa within two days. Conditions are marginally favorable for some wave development as it moves north between West Africa and the Cabo Verde Islands. There is a 20% chance of more wave forming in the next five days.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Fiona intensified into a Category 3 storm, leaving destruction in its wake.

The storm headed toward the Turks and Caicos Islands on Tuesday as a Category 3 storm, prompting the government to impose a curfew. As of late Tuesday afternoon, there were still strong winds and heavy rain in parts of the Turks and Caicos Islands. A tropical storm watch has been released in Bermuda.

At 5 p.m. Tuesday, Fiona was stationed 50 miles north of the North Caicos Island. The maximum sustained winds were 115 miles per hour and were moving from north to northwest at eight miles per hour.

The blow from Fiona was even more devastating because Puerto Rico had yet to recover from Hurricane Maria, which killed nearly 3,000 people and devastated the power grid in 2017. Five years later, more than 3,000 homes on the island are still covered in blue tarps.

Authorities said at least 1,300 people and about 250 pets remain in shelters across the island.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

• • •

2022 Tampa Bay Times Hurricane Guide

It’s storm season: Prepare and stay tuned at tampabay.com/hurricane.

The growing threat: It will flood Tampa Bay. Here’s how to prepare.

Double check: Checklists for building all kinds of hurricane kits

phone at: Use your smartphone to protect your data, documents and photos.

Self care Protect your mental health during a hurricane.

• • •

part One: The Tampa Bay Times has partnered with the National Hurricane Center to take a revealing look at future storms.

Part 2: Even weak tornadoes can cause massive storms. Experts say people don’t understand the risks.

Part 3: Tampa Bay has enormous flood risks. What should we do about it?

Interactive map: Research the Tampa Bay neighborhood for hurricane flood risks.

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