"It's very typical for October and it's not at all unusual for tropical storms to form in the western Caribbean", Feltgen said.
According to the NHC, environmental conditions are "conducive for the development of a tropical depression or tropical storm".
A tropical storm watch has been issued for the central Bahamas.
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The National Hurricane Center has upgraded the probability of development to 80 percent, as a tropical system moves north off the northeastern coast of Nicaragua.
Most track model tracks have the storm avoiding South Florida, but forecasts on systems before they organize can be many miles off. More information is expected to be released by the Cayman Islands National Weather Service around 4:30 p.m.
By Sunday, the area of enhanced moisture associated with Potential Tropical Cyclone Eighteen will be in the western Atlantic Ocean, just off the southeast USA coastline.
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Strong upper-level winds from an approaching cold front will make conditions less favorable for development by Sunday, the NHC said.
The storm, officially named or not, will accelerate northeastward across Cuba then over the Florida Straits, perhaps brushing South Florida and/or the Bahamas during Saturday night.
Potential Tropical Cyclone 18 is likely to become a Tropical Depression or Tropical Storm Philippe by early Saturday morning.
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Small craft should consider remaining in port on Saturday and Saturday night as there will be the potential for unsafe squalls and sudden rough seas. Hurricane Hunter aircraft flew through the system to investigate the potential for development and found wind speeds of 35 knots and no well defined center of rotation.