The eighteenth tropical depression of the season also formed late Saturday night. As of 11:00 P.M. EDT, Tropical Depression Eighteen was located near 22.0 North and 69.7 West or about 95 miles east-northeast of Grand Turk Island. Movement of Tropical Depression Eighteen was moving toward the west-northwest at 10 mph with maximum sustained winds of 30 mph. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1009 millibars or 29.80 inches.
Tropical Depression Eighteen will strengthen over the next 48-72 hours as it continues moving toward the west-northwest. Once this system becomes a tropical storm, it will be named Rita. Heavy rains and gusty winds will move through the Bahamas over the next couple of days and the track of this system will take it very close to the southern tip of Florida by Tuesday.
Tropical Storm Warnings have been posted for the Turks and Caicos, as well as, the central and southeastern Bahamas. Hurricane Watches have been issued for the northwest Bahamas. Watches and warnings may need to be issued as early as Sunday for south Florida.