FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A tropical wave located in the southeast Caribbean on Thursday has a high chance of becoming a hurricane in the coming days, according to the National Weather Service Miami.
In the next week, several long-term weather forecast models show the system turning north, passing over Cuba, and heading toward the Gulf of Mexico, and possibly Florida.
“It looks like it’s going to end up being a major hurricane,” said Will Redman, a spokesperson for the National Weather Service Miami.
A major hurricane is classified as Category 3 or above.
Redman said the current path shows the storm’s center anywhere between the west coast of Florida and New Orleans, while the area facing the brunt of the hurricane’s force would likely be the Florida Panhandle.
If a hurricane does develop, it would probably form Monday or Tuesday of next week, Redman said. The next named storm will be Hermine.
First, the tropical wave likely will become a tropical depression over the next few days, moving west-north westward over the eastern Caribbean Sea in the next day or so and then will reach the central Caribbean Sea this weekend, the National Hurricane Center’s 8 a.m. advisory said. The system has a 70% chance of forming in the next 48 hours and a 90% chance of forming in the next five days.
The National Hurricane Center has yet to confirm whether the system will become a hurricane or target Florida. Maria Torres, a spokesperson for the Center, said it was still too early to say, but they will know more by Friday or Saturday.
“For us here in South Florida, we just have to keep monitoring situation closely,” Torres said. “The important thing is to make sure people start having their preparations ready.”
Meanwhile, Hurricane Fiona is holding steady as a Category 4 storm with 130 mph winds. Bermuda was under a hurricane warning on Thursday. Fiona is the first major hurricane of the 2022 season, meaning Category 3 and above.
Forecasters are also monitoring two other systems in the Atlantic.
“The one to watch is definitely the system moving into the southeastern Caribbean,” said Eric Blake, a forecaster for the National Hurricane Center.
A tropical wave expected to move off Africa and into the Atlantic on Thursday has been given a 60% chance of developing in the next five days, possibly becoming a tropical depression by this weekend, the National Hurricane Center said. And, a broad area of low pressure in the Atlantic has a 30% chance of developing in the next five days.
Tropical Storm Gaston also maintained its strength in the open Atlantic Ocean on Thursday, though the storm’s current path does not show it reaching land.
Hurricane season ends Nov. 30.
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