FLORIDA (June 22, 2021)—Forecasters are tracking a tropical wave moving west toward the Windward Islands, which form the southeastern boundary between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
The wave emerged Monday about 1,000 miles east-southeast of the Windward Islands in the West Indies, according to the National Hurricane Center.
As of 6 a.m Tuesday, it was located 650 miles east-southeast of the Caribbean Sea. The wave is expected to move west to west-northwest at speeds up to 20 mph.
The system’s odds of development during the next couple of days spiked from 10% early Monday to 30%. Its odds remained at 30% early Tuesday, experts said.
By Thursday, forecasters expect storm-shredding, upper-level winds will hinder its development.
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Claudette was downgraded Monday night into a remnant low, and dissipated over the Atlantic about 200 miles southeast of Cape Cod, Mass.
Claudette claimed 13 lives in Alabama over the weekend as it caused flash floods and spurred tornadoes that destroyed dozens of homes.
Eight children in a van from a youth home for abused or neglected children were killed in a fiery multi-vehicle crash on a wet interstate that also killed a man and his baby in another vehicle, the most devastating blow from a tropical depression that claimed 13 lives in Alabama as it caused flash floods and spurred tornadoes that destroyed dozens of homes.
The crash happened Saturday about 35 miles south of Montgomery on Interstate 65 after vehicles likely hydroplaned on wet roads, said Butler County Coroner Wayne Garlock.
The van, containing children ages 4 to 17, belonged to the Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch, a youth home operated by the Alabama Sheriffs Association. Michael Smith, the youth ranches CEO, said the van was heading back to the ranch near Camp Hill, northeast of Montgomery, after a week at the beach in Gulf Shores. It caught fire after the wreck and Candice Gulley, the ranch director, was the van’s only survivor — pulled from the flames by a bystander.
Gulley remained hospitalized Sunday in Montgomery in serious but stable condition. “She’s going to survive her physical injuries,” Smith said. Two of the dead in the van were Gulley’s children, ages 4 and 16. Four others were ranch residents and two were guests, Smith said.
Photo: NWS National Seasonal Safety Campaign