Storm in western Caribbean gains strength
That stormy region in the western Caribbean was getting better organized and gaining strength Friday and forecasters now give it a 70 percent chance of becoming the Atlantic season's first named tropical storm - Alex - within 48 hours.
UPDATE: Chances are now put at 80 percent that this storm will become a tropical storm within 48 hours, and maybe sooner.
Designated 93L, the storm was located between the northeast coast of Honduras and Grand Cayman Island. Surface pressures were falling - a sign of strengthening - and upper level winds were becoming more friendly to further development.
Computer models disagree on where the storm would go from there. Some take it west northwest toward the Yucatan and Mexico's northeast coast. Others send it more to the north, across the region where BP is trying to stop its oil well blowout, and coastal residents are laboring to keep oil off their shores.
An Air Force reconnaissance plane was scheduled to fly into the storm later today to gather more data on its development.
Also on the satellite images this morning is a second region of stormy weather. This one is in the Atlantic, just north east of the northern Leeward Islands. It's pretty disorganized, and forecasters say any development will be slow. They give it just a 10 percent chance of becoming a named tropical storm within the next 48 hours. It's headed northwest and should be no threat to land for some time.