Tropical Storm Victor is expected to continue to gain strength over the warm Atlantic waters and become a Category 1 hurricane Friday, the National Hurricane Center said.
Victor, the season’s 20th named storm and potentially the season’s eighth hurricane, is forecast to undergo rapid intensification Thursday into Friday, meaning that its top winds increase by 35 mph or more within 24 hours.
Victor’s maximum sustained winds were at 45 mph as of 8 a.m. Thursday as the storm moved west-northwest at 13 mph in the far eastern Atlantic. By early Friday, its winds are expected to hit at least 70 mph, and be at hurricane strength hours later.
On the forecast track, Victor is expected to make a turn toward the northwest by Friday night before heading north, the hurricane center said.
Its wind speed is likely to peak at 75 mph this weekend before rapidly weakening due to storm-shredding wind shear and the presence of dry air, forecasters said.
Experts said it’s possible that Victor could drop to a remnant low by early next week. It’s currently no threat to land.
Wanda is the only name not yet used on the list of 2021 storm names, in a season that runs through Nov. 30. Experts say if Wanda forms, 2021 will rank third in the record books for the number of named storms generated in one hurricane season.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Sam’s intensity is forecast to begin a slow decline Saturday as it encounters cooler water temperatures and storm-shredding wind shear, but until then it is forecast to remain a powerful major hurricane.
In addition to Hurricane Sam and Tropical Storm Victor, the National Hurricane Center is monitoring a system to the west of Victor, but it is no longer expected to develop, while Victor is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane by Friday, the National Hurricane Center said Thursday.
Any storm to form after Wanda would be named using an overflow list, which includes Adria, Braylen, Caridad, Deshawn, Emery, Foster, Gemma and Heath.
____©2021 South Florida Sun Sentinel. Visit at sun-sentinel.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.