US Atlantic hurricane activity picks up with five systems on watch

Aug 20 (Reuters) – Tropical Storm Franklin over the eastern Caribbean and a disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico are expected to strengthen over the next two days as U.S. forecasters monitor three other weather systems in the Atlantic.

Franklin, with sustained winds of 50 mph (85 kph), should approach the southern coast of Hispaniola island on Tuesday, bringing heavy rain to parts of it and neighboring Puerto Rico through the middle of the week.

Ahead of it lies a trough of low pressure, which has a 70% chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm as it approaches the western Gulf of Mexico coast by Tuesday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

In its latest advisory, the NHC said Tropical Depression Six, near the Leeward Islands was expected to become a remnant low on Sunday night.

Next in line is Tropical Storm Emily in the central Atlantic, which could become a post-tropical cyclone in about 36 hours, the Miami-based forecaster said.

Meanwhile, a tropical disturbance near the Cape Verde Islands has a 30% chance of becoming a cyclone over the next two days and a tropical depression is likely to form later this week.

While the Atlantic has seen relatively mild activity this year, on the U.S. West Coast, the Tropical Storm Hilary unleashed furious flash floods east and west of Los Angeles on Sunday after barreling through Mexico’s Baja California peninsula with deadly force.

Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; editing by Robert Birsel

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