As forecasters watch Hurricane Ian, the National Hurricane Center is also watching a disturbance off Africa, which has a high chance of becoming a tropical depression sometime this week.
The National Hurricane Center said the area of low pressure located, which is several hundred miles of the Cabo Verde Islands, was becoming better organized on Monday. It is expected to meander off the coast of Africa for about a day or two, before it heads slowly north-northwestward, the NHC said.
Forecasters are giving it a 70% chance of developing into a tropical depression in the next 48 hours.
“Environmental conditions appear conducive for additional development, and a tropical depresion is likely to form during the next couple of days before upper-level winds become less favorable toward the end of the week,” the NHC’s advisory said.
The potential depression could form as Hurricane Ian nears Florida. Ian was forecast to emerge over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico as a Category 4 hurricane on Tuesday. The hurricane center said it will likely pass west of the Florida Keys late Tuesday, and approach the west coast of Florida on Wednesday.
Tropical conditions will likely affect the Tampa Bay area from Wednesday morning through Thursday and will ease on Friday morning.