TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - Forecasters say a far-off tropical wave has an increasing likelihood of becoming the season's next tropical storm, but it's too early to determine its impact on the United States, if any.
As of Thursday, the wave – dubbed Invest 96L for now – was about 1,000 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands, far out in the Atlantic. The National Hurricane Center says it has about a 70-percent chance of strengthening into a tropical depression in the next five days, possibly sooner.
"Environmental conditions could become more supportive by Saturday and a tropical depression is likely to form over the weekend, several hundred miles east of the Lesser Antilles," the NHC's latest update explained.
Forecast models expect the system to continue slogging west, but there's not much agreement about how intense it will get along the way.
"Basically this is just kind of a wait and see at this point," FOX 13 meteorologist Jim Weber offered.
If the system becomes a tropical storm, the next name in this year's list is Chantal.
Meanwhile, a second tropical wave off the east coast of Florida will merely enhance the state's rain chances through the weekend.