The potential risk posed by a low pressure system over the western Caribbean Sea prompted the issuance of Tropical Storm Watches for Jamaica, Haiti, eastern Cuba, the Southeastern Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos on Thursday afternoon. The U.S. National Hurricane Center designated the low pressure system as Potential Tropical Cyclone Twentytwo. At 4:00 p.m. EST on Thursday the center of Potential Tropical Cyclone Twentytwo was located at latitude 15.2°N and longitude 81.5°W which put it about 365 miles (590 km) west-southwest of Kington, Jamaica. The low pressure system was moving toward the north-northeast at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1004 mb.
Tropical Storm Watches were in effect for Jamaica, Haiti, the Southeastern Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos, and the Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Granma, and Las Tunas.
A U.S. Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter plane investigated the low pressure system over the western Caribbean Sea on Thursday afternoon. The crew of the plane found that there was a large counterclockwise rotation, but the was not a well defined low level center within that large rotation. There were several smaller counterclockwise rotations within the larger low pressure system. Thunderstorms were occurring in bands in the eastern side of Potential Tropical Cyclone Twentytwo. Bands in the western side of the low pressure system consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.
Potential Tropical Cyclone Twentytwo will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification during the next 36 hours. The low pressure system will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 30°C. It will move under the eastern side of an upper level trough over the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The upper level trough will produce southwesterly winds that will blow toward the top of the low pressure system. Those winds will cause moderate vertical wind shear. The wind shear will inhibit intensification, but the shear may not be strong enough to prevent intensification. Potential Tropical Cyclone Twentytwo is likely to intensify to a tropical storm during the next 36 hours.
The upper level trough over the eastern Gulf of Mexico will steer Potential Tropical Cyclone Twentytwo toward the northeast during the next 36 hours. On its anticipated track, the center of Potential Tropical Cyclone Twentytwo will be near Jamaica on Friday afternoon. The low pressure system will be near eastern Cuba and Haiti on Friday night. It will be over the Southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos on Saturday.
Potential Tropical Cyclone Twentytwo will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to Jamaica, Haiti, eastern Cuba, the Southeastern Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos. Gusty winds could cause localized electricity outages. Heavy rain could cause flash floods in some locations.