A tropical system is forecast to bring heavy rain and strong winds to several Caribbean islands over the next couple of days, the National Hurricane Center said Friday morning.
Tropical storm watches have been hoisted for Jamaica, Haiti, and portions of Cuba as the system approaches.
However, the system, now dubbed Potential Tropical Cyclone 22, isn't likely to strengthen into a named tropical storm, forecasters from the center said. They gave it only a 40% chance of development.
The still-disorganized storm was about 200 miles west-southwest of Kingston, Jamaica, as of Friday morning, and was moving northeast at 10 mph. It is expected to pick up speed through the weekend. Maximum sustained winds were 35 mph with higher gusts.
If it does develop, it would become Tropical Storm Vince.
A risk of dangerous flash flooding and mudslides
"The system is expected to move across Jamaica later today, southeastern Cuba by early Saturday, and the southeastern Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands on Saturday," the hurricane center said.
Despite the decreasing chance of tropical cyclone formation, "there is high confidence that heavy rainfall and flooding will remain a distinct and serious threat."
"Potential Tropical Cyclone 22 is expected to produce additional total rainfall of 4 to 8 inches with maximum amounts of 16 inches across portions of Jamaica, southeast Cuba, and southern Hispaniola through Sunday."
According to AccuWeather, the combination of heavy rain and mountainous terrain on the larger islands of the Caribbean will raise the risk of dangerous flash flooding and mudslides.
Spaghetti models for Potential Tropical Cyclone 22
Winds, surge and surf
In addition to the heavy rain, strong winds, storm surge and rough surf are all likely from the system.
Even though it's not expected to become a named storm, the system will still bring strong winds across several Caribbean islands through the weekend.
In addition, minor coastal flooding is possible in areas of onshore winds along the southeastern coast of Cuba, the southeastern Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos Islands, the hurricane center said.
Rough surf could also be a danger, according to the hurricane center: "Swells generated by the disturbance are expected to affect portions of Jamaica, Haiti, and southeastern Cuba during the next day or so. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions."
Not a US threat
The system is not expected to affect the United States as steering winds and a cold front will push the system out into the Atlantic later this weekend to early next week, even if it manages to develop and hold together, AccuWeather meteorologist Alex DaSilva said.
Contributing: C. A. Bridges, USA TODAY NETWORK - Florida
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tropical Storm Vince could form in the Caribbean, NHC says