As a new system forms north of Florida, Tropical Storm Bonnie officially formed Friday morning in the Caribbean, according to the National Hurricane Center.
A hurricane-hunting plane was finally able to observe a well-defined circulation center located about 100 miles east of the Nicaraguan coast, where it is expected to make landfall Friday evening along the Costa Rican border. Scientists warn that Bonnie could bring heavy rain to Nicaragua, leading to flash flooding and life-threatening landslides.
Bonnie is located approximately 150 miles east of Bluefields, Nicaragua, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph shifting west at 20 mph, as of the 2 p.m. update. Tropical Storm Bonnie’s range increased Friday afternoon to 125 miles from the center of the system.
The second named storm of the season had a tropical storm-like organization for most of the week but was unable to close its center of circulation as it sprinted across the Caribbean often moving above 20 mph, the NHC said. After slowing down, the system had time to come full circle and close circulation, earning it tropical storm status.
Computer models show that hurricane conditions are possible before the system arrives in Nicaragua. As a result, a hurricane watch is in effect for the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border, and a tropical storm watch from Limon, Costa Rica northward to the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border.
Scientists speculate that if the system doesn’t turn into a full storm as it cruises through the Caribbean, it could become a hurricane after crossing Central America and entering the Pacific next week.
Meanwhile, meteorologists are also monitoring two other disturbances.
A new low pressure system formed Friday afternoon just north of Florida and off Savannah, Georgia, the NHC said in its 2 p.m. update. Development is thought to be gradual as the system slowly drifts northeast along the southeast coast of the United States.
“Regardless of development, this system is expected to produce heavy rainfall which could cause flash flooding in parts of southeast Georgia and the Carolinas through tonight and Saturday,” the NHC said.
The system has a 10% chance of developing within two to five days.
In addition, a tropical wave over the Windward Islands produces disorganized showers and thunderstorms. No further significant development is expected, but the NHC has given the wave a 10% chance of becoming a depression within the next two to five days as it passes the Windward Islands. It is then expected to move to the Caribbean, where growing conditions do not appear to be great.
If either system develops, the name of the next tropical storm will be Colin.
The Gulf disturbance near Texas degenerated Friday morning into a surface trough as it made landfall, satellite imagery showed. Heavy rain and flooding are possible for parts of the southern Texas coast, but specialists don’t believe the system will move further inland, the NHC said at 8 a.m.
The 2022 season runs from June 1 to November 1. The 30th is expected to be another above normal year for storms after the 30 named storms of 2020 and 21 of 2021.