Shary menaces Bermuda; new storm forming
That small storm in the Atlantic has become Tropical Storm Shary overnight, and while it appears to be a threat to Bermuda, is expected to swing north and east away from the U.S. mainland.
East of the Windward Islands, meanwhile, a second region of stormy weather appears to be on the verge of becoming Tropical Storm Tomas (pronounced toe-MAS) later today.
UPDATE, 5 p.m.: This storm has been upgraded to a tropical storm, and named Tomas. Only two more names remain on the primary list for 2010. Earlier post resumes below.
The National Hurricane Center said Shary (no kin to the late Shari Lewis or Lamb Chop) was located 220 miles south southwest of Bermuda, moving to the northwest at 18 mph. It has top sustained winds of 40 mph. The forecast track would turn the storm and take it just east of the island late today before accelerating off to the northeast. It is not expected to reach hurricane strength.
Off the coast of Venezuela, the next tropical system was getting better organized. Forecasters in Miami said the disturbance was 330 miles east southeast of the southern Windward Islands, moving to the west northwest at 15 to 20 mph. It is given an 80 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone by this weekend.
An Air Force Reserve unit was scheduled to to into the storm later today. If it reaches tropical storm strength, it will be named Tomas. Northern portions of Venezuela and the southern Windwards can expect heavy rain and gusty winds in the next few days as the storm approaches.
A third distrubance in the Atlantic is given only a 10 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone within the next 48 hours.