A new tropical depression formed in the Atlantic Ocean on Friday, which forecasters expect will rapidly intensify into a major hurricane early next week.
Tropical Depression Number 15 is moving across the open Atlantic, about halfway between the eastern Caribbean islands and the coast of Africa. By Friday afternoon, winds were gusting up to 35 mph.
The National Hurricane Center estimates it will become a tropical storm by early Saturday. According to the official forecast, it will become a typhoon by late Sunday night and potentially become a major hurricane early next week. The National Hurricane Center said near-record warmth in the Atlantic will fuel its strengthening.
The National Hurricane Center said, “This probably seems like a broken record at this point in the season, but rapid intensification is a significant possibility, and the official forecast may be conservative.”
The system is moving toward Bermuda but is not expected to reach the island in the next five days.
To date, there have been 14 tropical storms, five hurricanes, and three major hurricanes in the Atlantic this season. The peak of hurricane season is typically September 10.
So far, predictions of a more active than normal tropical season this year have been spot on.
The US was directly affected by a major storm, Hurricane Idalia, which came ashore as a Category 3 hurricane on August 30. The Northeastern United States may also be affected by Hurricane Lee this weekend.
Although it is not expected to hit the US directly, its outer bands could bring strong winds and rough waves to the New England coast this weekend.