Storm soaking Puerto Rico gets better organized
A region of thunderstorms and soaking rains near Puerto Rico appears to be getting better organized. Hurricane forecasters now say there's a 60 percent chance the disturbance will become the region's second named tropical storm - Bonnie - within 48 hours. Forecasters said:
"ALTHOUGH THE SYSTEM DOES NOT YET HAVE A CLOSED CIRCULATION...
SATELLITE IMAGERY SUGGESTS THAT A SURFACE LOW PRESSURE AREA IS
BECOMING BETTER DEFINED JUST NORTH OF THE EASTERN TIP OF
HISPANIOLA. ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO BE FAVORABLE
FOR ADDITIONAL DEVELOPMENT AS THE SYSTEM MOVES WEST-NORTHWESTWARD
AT ABOUT 10 MPH DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO.
"REGARDLESS OF DEVELOPMENT...
LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL AND GUSTY WINDS WILL LIKELY AFFECT THE
VIRGIN ISLANDS...PUERTO RICO...THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC...HAITI...
EASTERN CUBA...THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS...AND THE SOUTHEASTERN
BAHAMAS DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS."
If this does become Tropical Storm Bonnie, the name may stir up memories of other storms by that name. A Hurricane Bonnie in 1986 made landfall in Texas, where three deaths were blamed on the storm and damages totaled $2 million. The storm dropped as much as 13 inches of rain and spawned 11 tornadoes.
Another Hurricane Bonnie made landfall in North Carolina in 1998 as a Category 3 storm. It packed 100 mph winds and 11 inches of rain. Total damage was estimated at $1 billion.
The most recent Bonnie was a tropical storm in 2004 (the name lists are recycled every 6 years). It crossed the Florida peninsula from west to east - the first of five landfalls in Florida that season - then ran up the East Coast without causing much of a problem.
For the moment, though, this latest storm is mostly just a big rain-maker. Here's the forecast for San Juan.
Here's AccuWeather.com's take on the storm. They expect it will give Florida a good soaking by the end of the week.