Tropical system in Atlantic could turn toward U.S. coast


August 24, 2006|By South Florida Sun-Sentinel

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Tropical Storm Debby was forecast to become the season's first hurricane within the next three days, but another system in the Atlantic could pose more of a concern to the Caribbean and U.S. coast.

Debby is expected to churn north away from land, but a strong tropical wave could grow into a depression by tomorrow near the Windward Islands, in an area from which storms frequently curve northwest toward the U.S. shoreline.

Whether the wave becomes a tropical storm or hurricane depends on how it interacts with a ridge of high pressure north of it, said Dave Roberts, a Navy meteorologist at the National Hurricane Center.

If it turns north into the ridge, strong upper level winds will probably shred the wave apart, he said. "If it stays south, then it has a real chance to be a tropical storm."

Late yesterday, the wave was about 200 miles east of the Windward Islands, moving northwest at 20 mph.

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