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A tropical depression forms, forecast to become a hurricane on its way to Florida

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A tropical depression forms, forecast to become a hurricane on its way to Florida

CTN NEWS – A tropical depression formed in the Caribbean Sea and is expected to become a hurricane on its way to the Gulf of Mexico, hurricane forecasters said Friday.

The storm is on track to hit Jamaica and Cuba before turning east toward Florida, according to the latest path from the National Hurricane Center.

A tropical storm watch was issued for Jamaica as the depression strengthens into what would become Tropical Storm Ian on Sunday, according to forecasters.

Tropical storm by Friday night

It was expected to strengthen into a tropical storm by Friday night, followed by rapid intensification in the Caribbean Sea, but was still a depression as of 5 p.m., meteorologists said.

The storm is forecast to become a Category 2 hurricane by the time it reaches Cuba, then a Category 3 storm in the Gulf of Mexico. Landfall is expected Wednesday in Florida.

There is still a “healthy amount of uncertainty” in the track forecast on days 4 and 5, which is when the storm is expected to be in the Gulf of Mexico, hurricane forecasters said in their Friday morning advisory.

The current forecast has the storm making landfall in south Florida near Naples and Fort Myers. But, the location of landfall will depend on how quickly the storm turns east.

Meteorologists are urging residents in the Florida Keys and the Florida peninsula to monitor the storm closely.

5 systems in the tropics

hurricane

Two tropical depressions formed Friday morning – one in the Caribbean and another in the Atlantic. Hurricane forecasters are now tracking five systems:

  • A tropical depression in the Caribbean
  • Hurricane Fiona in the Atlantic
  • Tropical Storm Gaston in the Atlantic
  • Tropical Storm Hermine near Africa’s west coast
  • Disturbance in the Atlantic

Hurricane Fiona, Tropical Storm Gaston, and the other systems in the Atlantic don’t pose a threat to Louisiana. Residents along Canada’s Atlantic coast are bracing for Fiona, a Category 4 hurricane.

The next storm names are Ian and Julia if any of the depressions strengthen into a tropical storm.

  • Depression in the Caribbean
  • Rapid intensification expected
  • Some swells could reach Louisiana
  • Hurricane Fiona heads to Canada
  • New depression in the Atlantic
  • Tropical Storm Gaston in the Atlantic
  • Disturbance in Atlantic
  • The busiest time of the season

Storm categories

The categories, in order of increasing strength, are tropical depression, tropical storm, and hurricane (categories 1 through 5). A system is named when it develops into a tropical storm.

On the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, the wind categories are:

  • Tropical depression: up to 38 mph
  • Tropical storm: 39 to 73 mph
  • Category 1 hurricane: 74 to 95 mph
  • Category 2 hurricane: 96 to 110 mph
  • Category 3 hurricane (major hurricane): 111 to 129 mph
  • Category 4 hurricane: 130-156 mph
  • Category 5 hurricane: 157 mph and higher

What to do now

Now is the time to review hurricane plans and make sure your property is ready for hurricane season.

Here are some tips from the National Weather Service for how to prepare for the season:

  • Put together an emergency kit. Here are 60+ nonperishable items to consider including.
  • Check emergency equipment, such as flashlights, generators, and storm shutters.
  • Make a plan with your family or close friends and decide how you will get in touch and where you will go if there’s an emergency. Here’s how to decide if you should evacuate.
  • Plan your evacuation route and have an alternate route. Here are 15 things to do before evacuating.
  • Make a plan for your pets. Here are some tips.
  • If you have a generator, check it and see if any maintenance needs to be done. Don’t forget these important generator safety tips.
  • Do any maintenance you’ve been putting off on your vehicle.
  • Review your insurance policies.
  • Keep your trees around your home trimmed to prevent damage from broken branches. Here’s advice from gardening expert Dan Gill.
  • Have materials in advance to board windows to protect them from flying debris.

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