The first ‘potential’ tropical cyclone was being monitored by the NHC Sunday. (Credit: NHC)
The National Hurricane Center began issuing advisories for a tropical system that hasn’t even formed yet — a first for the agency that introduced a new category to the NHC forecasting arsenal.
“The National Hurricane Center now has the option to issue advisories on disturbances that are not yet tropical cyclones, but which pose the threat of bringing tropical storm or hurricane conditions to land areas within 48 hours,” the 5 p.m. EDT advisory said.
“Under previous policy this was not possible. These systems are known as Potential Tropical Cyclones in advisory products and are numbered from the same list as depressions.”
The NHC said the system would peak as a 50 mph tropical storm by early Tuesday morning before losing punch in the eastern Caribbean.
“Quick weakening is expected after that time as southerly shear increases dramatically while the system moves into the eastern Caribbean Sea,” forecaster Michael Brennan said. “The system is forecast to become a remnant low by 72 hours and dissipate by day 4.”
The advisory was published under the heading, “Potential Tropical Cyclone Two Advisory Number 1.”
The government of Barbados issued a tropical storm warning for Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the NHC said.
The NHC was still giving the system a 70 percent chance of reaching full tropical depression status in 48 hours. If it does become a tropical storm, it would be named Bret.
Tropical storm conditions were expected in the affected islands Monday night and Tuesday morning, with 2-4 inches of rain expected.
The agency gave the low pressure system off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula — Invest 93L — a 70 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm by Tuesday and a 90 percent chance by the end of the week.
An investigation of 93L by Hurricane Hunter aircraft was canceled on Sunday and rescheduled for Monday. Forecast models were focusing on an eventual landfall from the Florida panhandle to southeastern Louisiana.