Tropical depression forming in the Atlantic, could become tropical storm Bonnie

July 22nd, 2010 - 8:41 pm ICT by BNO News  

MIAMI (BNO NEWS) — A tropical depression was forming in the Atlantic Ocean on Thursday morning, U.S. forecasters said, and it could become the third named storm of the season.

Forecasters with the U.S. National Hurricane Center on Thursday issued a special update regarding an area of low pressure in the southeastern Bahamas, saying it would become a tropical depression or tropical storm within hours.

“Visible satellite images and observations from the Bahamas indicate that the area of low pressure in the southeastern Bahamas has become better organized and a closed circulation has formed,” forecasters Avila and Roberts said.

The forecasters said advisories on a tropical depression or a tropical storm would be initiated by 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT). “This will likely include tropical storm watches and warnings for portions of the Bahamas and southern Florida,” they added.

If Tropical Storm Bonnie indeed forms, it will be the sixth time that a tropical cyclone in the Atlantic Ocean has been named Bonnie. The first time was in August 1980 when a hurricane formed midway between Cape Verde and the Windward Islands, but it never made landfall.

In June 1986, Hurricane Bonnie formed over the central Gulf of Mexico but never exceeded category 1 strength. It made landfall just southwest of Sea Rim State Park in Texas on June 26, causing heavy rainfall and several tornadoes in Texas and Louisiana. Three people were reported killed in the area of Port Arthur in Texas as a result.

In September 1992, Category 2 Hurricane Bonnie formed in the Atlantic but moved very slowly for a large part of its lifetime. It affected the Azores with tropical storm conditions, shortly before it became extratropical, but there were no reports of casualties.

And in August 1998, Category 3 Hurricane Bonnie made landfall in North Carolina. It was the first hurricane of the 1998 Atlantic hurricane season and caused major damage in the region, leaving at least five people killed and several others injured.

Finally, Tropical Storm Bonnie formed in early August 2004 and made landfall in Florida, causing only minimal damage. A resulting tornado outbreak in South Carolina and North Carolina, however, left three people dead.

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