are taking a careful look tonight at Invest 96L, a disturbance
that is moving through the Caribbean Sea and could well become a
tropical depression or named storm over the weekend.
National Hurricane Center says there is an 80 percent chance of that
happening. If it does, the storm would be named Cristobal.
evening, the broad area of low pressure is hanging out just north of
Puerto Rico, bringing heavy rains to that island, but it is having
trouble getting organized into a tropical system with a closed area of
circulation around the center.
Over the weekend, it is
forecast to continue to move west, bringing heavy rains and mudslides
to Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and then start heading into the
Earlier this week -- and even earlier today -- forecast
models were curving the storm to the north and eventually the northeast
as it moves away from the Bahamas. Most models were in agreement
that it probably would not threaten the United States, but would pass
However, forecasters this evening are hedging
their bets, especially if the storm slows down and even intensifies in
Mid-level ridging was predicted to dip south along
the Atlantic coast this weekend and turn the storm to the north.
But if the system slows down, weather conditions and steering currents
"Sunday is fork in the road day," said a Weather
Channel forecaster. On one hand, the storm, whether it is
Cristobal or not, could continue on its path to the west or it could
turn and head north.
All of us on the Outer Banks or headed this
way next week will want to follow the National Hurricane Center
forecasts throughout the weekend.