Image: NOAA/National Hurricane Center

As of Thursday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center's possible formation area for a disorganized area of low pressure to become a tropical depression expanded northward, in line with model runs that were coming together to expect such a turn toward the Atlantic over the next five days.

The 5-day outlook is an experimental product from hurricane forecasters.

The chance for formation over the next five days remains high at 70%.

A hurricane hunter aircraft flew out to the small area of low pressure Thursday. It found the circulation was poorly defined and associated shower activity had decreased.

However, the aircraft did find a small area of tropical storm force winds on the northeast side of the low.

The mountainous terrain of Hispaniola could limit development over the first part of the weekend, but by Sunday, forecasters warn the low could move into favorable conditions as it approaches the Bahamas.

Gusty winds and heavy rainfall are possible across portions of the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands through Friday, and over Hispaniola late Friday and Saturday.