Tropical Depression Nine formed from the system in the southeast Caribbean on Friday and forecast models show the system turning north, passing over Cuba and heading toward the Gulf of Mexico and possibly Florida as Hurricane Hermine.
According to the latest forecast models, South Florida is in the cone of the potential Category 3 storm.
“It looks like it’s going to end up being a major hurricane,” said Will Redman, a spokesperson for the National Weather Service Miami.
If a hurricane does develop, it would probably form Monday or Tuesday of next week, Redman said.
“There is still a healthy amount of uncertainty in the track forecast at the day 4-5 timeframe,” said National Hurricane Center specialist Phillipe Papin.
In its 11 a.m. update, the National Hurricane Center said the storm is moving west-northwest at 13 mph. Experts expect it will move more westward over the next day or so before turning back west-northwest and then northwest over the weekend.
Maximum sustained wind speeds are close to 35 mph with a higher gusts. There will be a slow intensification over the weekend projected to become Tropical Storm Hermine later Friday and grow into hurricane strength by Monday morning with its center south of Cuba near the Cayman Islands and Jamaica.
The five-day path has it hooking north by Tuesday over Cuba and then parked off Florida’s southwest coast as a Category 2 hurricane with 110 mph winds and gusts of 130 mph by Wednesday morning.
Tropical Depression Nine will likely drop heavy rainfall, flash flooding, and possible mudslides in Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, with heavy rains in Jamaican and the Cayman Islands coming in the next few days.
Florida’s Division of Emergency Management issued a press release Friday morning announcing that the state is preparing for potential landfall and urging Floridians to prepare their homes for the storm.
“It is critical that Floridians remain vigilant and prepared – it only takes one storm to cause costly or irreversible damage to your home or business,” said FDEM director Kevin Guthrie in the release.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Fiona is moving quickly towards Canada, holding steady as a Category 4 storm with 130 mph winds as of the Friday 11 a.m. advisory.
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“Fiona is pulling away from Bermuda and racing toward Atlantic Canada,” the National Hurricane Center said in its 11 a.m. advisory Friday.
The center is expected to approach Nova Scotia on Friday. Several parts of Canada are under a hurricane warning as of 11 a.m. Friday, including parts of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. 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 off Africa has formed into a tropical depression or Tropical Depression 10, the National Hurricane Center said Friday. And, a broad area of low pressure in the Atlantic has a 30% chance of developing in the next five days.
Tropical Storm Gaston is expected to gradually weaken over the next few days as of the Friday morning advisory. The storm is expected to move over the Azores today, 1,000 miles off the coast of Portugal.
Hurricane season ends Nov. 30.