A tropical disturbance in the southwestern Caribbean Sea is on the verge of organizing into Tropical Storm Bonnie as it heads for a Friday night landfall in Central America.
The disturbance was designated Potential Tropical Cyclone Two on Monday. This distinction permits the National Hurricane Center to issue routine advisories, watches and warnings on a system that has not yet developed into a tropical depression or tropical storm but brings a threat of 40-plus-mph winds to land within 48 hours.
As of Friday morning, the system had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. It was located more than 200 miles east of Bluefields, Nicaragua, and was racing westward at 15 to 20 mph.
The NHC says there is a 90% chance the disturbance will organize into a tropical storm later Friday before it reaches the coast of southern Nicaragua or northern Costa Rica.
According to FOX Weather Hurricane Specialist Bryan Norcross, the system’s rapid forward speed and track near land have kept it from organizing so far, but those inhibiting factors are finally coming to an end.
A Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect for the island of San Andrés, Colombia, as well as from Limón, Costa Rica, northward to Sandy Bay Sirpi, Nicaragua.
Additionally, a Hurricane Watch has been issued for the southeastern coast of Nicaragua, while a Tropical Storm Watch has been issued along portions of the Pacific coasts of Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
Islands in the southwestern Caribbean Sea have reported wind gusts well over tropical-storm force (40-plus mph), but there still does not appear to be any type of closed circulation, which is preventing forecasters from officially naming the system "Bonnie."
The disturbance is expected to spread high winds and heavy rain across southern Nicaragua and northern Costa Rica on Friday night before emerging over the Eastern Pacific on Saturday.
Forecasters are also monitoring a tropical disturbance, dubbed Invest 95L, that's expected to bring heavy rain to portions of southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana into the start of the Fourth of July weekend.
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