Atlantic tropical depression likely to become hurricane this weekend
As Florida still undergoes efforts to recover from Hurricane Idalia’s landfall on Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center is eyeing a tropical depression it forecasts to become a major hurricane this weekend.
The NHC said by the time it reaches hurricane status, with the name “Lee,” the storm could already could have affected the Leeward Islands, southeast of Puerto Rico.
“While it is too soon to determine the location and magnitude of these possible impacts, interests in these areas should monitor the progress of the depression and updates to the forecast,” the NHC said in a Tuesday morning advisory.
Still, the forecasts for the storm’s path are uncertain, and none puts Florida in immediate danger. The NHC projects tropical storm-force winds reaching Puerto Rico by Saturday evening.
The depression is halfway between West Africa and the Caribbean, with maximum sustained winds near 35 mph as it moves northwest. The NHC said the depression’s environment appears conducive to strengthening in a forecast that puts the potential storm’s ceiling at Category 4, with a maximum wind speed of 140 mph.