Tropical Depression 14 forms, has potential to impact North Carolina, Virginia areas

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The system, northeast of Honduras, has a 70 percent chance of becoming Tropical Storm Michael in the next five days, the National Hurricane Center said Friday. There will be a small chance of a shower or thunderstorm during the afternoon hours. The system could become a hurricane by Tuesday night or Wednesday.

When this depression enters the Gulf of Mexico, it will likely begin to strengthen because of very warm waters and relatively weak wind shear. A faster motion toward the east and east-southeast is expected through the middle of next week, taking Leslie across the central and eastern Atlantic. Tropical Storm Michael is expected to form early next week and then track northward through the Gulf of Mexico.

The Hurricane Center noted that hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles.

The National Hurricane Center said late Friday that conditions now limiting development will change in the coming days, becoming more conducive for slow development. The low could gradually acquire subtropical or tropical characteristics over the next few days while the system moves generally eastward and remains over warm waters. The title of PTC 14 allows the National Hurricane Center to issue a forecast cone and advisories even though the disturbance hasn't reached tropical storm strength yet.

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By mid-week our attention will focus on the Gulf of Mexico.

Already, the broad area of low pressure is large and capable of producing torrential rains. We need to pay attention to this system.

By Monday morning, almost the entire central US will see very heavy rain and possible strong storms.

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