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More Weekend Rain For Tampa Bay As Tropical Wave Skirts State And Another Lurks In Atlantic

A tropical wave in the Caribbean is forecast to produce increased rain chances for Florida – and the Tampa Bay area – this weekend as it moves north and skirts the East Coast.

But another system, though far out in the Atlantic, appears poised to potentially become the next named storm sometime next week.

Portions of Puerto Rico and the Bahamas are experiencing showers and thunderstorms, and these will continue as it moves to the northwest then north, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Even though the forecast track has shifted to the east and only has a 10 percent chance of further development into early next week, meteorologists say it will produce elevated chances of widespread showers and thunderstorms across the Tampa Bay area and southwest Florida this weekend.

"Occasional pockets of  heavy rain will accompany the tropical wave as it moves through central and south Florida, but strong winds high in the atmosphere make its development into a depression or named storm unlikely," said Ray Hawthorne, a meteorologist with the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network.

The tropical wave in the Atlantic, meanwhile, bears watching as it continues to move west. Forecasters give it a 50 percent chance of strengthening into a tropical depression by early next week, several hundred miles east of the Lesser Antilles, when conditions will become more conducive for development.

"There’s a good chance it will become a depression or named storm by the time it moves closer to the Lesser Antilles," Hawthorne said. "It’s far away from us and just too soon to know whether we will ever feel its effects.” 

If it does strengthen into a tropical system, it would be named Chantal.