Tropical Storm Gaston expected to become hurricane Saturday: NHC

by Linda Olson August 28, 2016, 8:18

Madeline's center is located about 1,235 miles (1,990 kilometers) east of Hilo, Hawaii and moving towards the west-northwest at a speed of 12 miles (19 kilometers) per hour.

Lester's maximum sustained winds are 40 miles per hour and it is now moving in a west-northwest direction at about 12 miles per hour.

Invest 99L was traveling west-northwest about 10 miles per hour and could cross Florida late Sunday or Monday and enter the Gulf as a tropical wave, according to the National Hurricane Center. Additional strengthening is forecast and Lester is likely to become a hurricane on Friday. Maximum sustained winds are near 65 miles per hour with higher gusts.

Some of the less reliable models do show the system traveling farther west which could potential have an impact on Louisiana, but those tend to be disregarded. However, we could see an increase in the number of showers and storms later in the week due to increasing tropical moisture. A reconnaissance mission flew into the storm 2 times today.

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Whether 99L organizes or not, the National Hurricane Center cautions that its heavy rains and strong winds will still cause problems as it moves west. Activity is expected to spread over eastern and central Cuba through the weekend.

And, as always, let Invest 99L serve as a reminder to make sure you've got your hurricane plan firmly in place for the next storm that does hit Houston! 99L will travel around the perimeter of a ridge of high pressure located along the southeastern coast of the United States.

Gaston is forecast to build strength over the next two days as it travels over warmer water and the southwesterly wind shear relaxes its hold on the storm. The storm still remains disorganized out in the Bahamas, but it could become a tropical depression or tropical storm over the next several days.

Fred Johnson, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Melbourne, said the key in Central Florida is for everyone to just keep watching the tropical wave next week.

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