- A growing tropical depression is moving towards Florida’s East Coast, and could arrive early next week
- The storm is forecast to continue growing before traversing the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean Sea
- As it crosses the islands over the weekend, it is expected to weaken, but could strengthen again once it reaches the open ocean
- If it reaches Tropical Storm status, it will be named “Fiona”
Residents and visitors in South Florida and along the East Coast are being advised to monitor a growing tropical depression in the Atlantic Ocean. Moving west at 14 mph, Tropical Depression Seven is forecast to reach tropical-storm strength by Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
It is expected to move through the Leeward Islands on Friday and to be near the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by the weekend.
If designated as a tropical storm, it would be named Fiona. While the storm has a 70 percent chance of forming into a named system, models aren’t set on how strong it could become.
“Moderate westerly shear and a dry mid-level atmosphere are expected to prevent significant intensification, but some modest strengthening is possible over the next day or two, and the NHC (National Hurricane Center) forecast calls for the depression to become a tropical storm tonight or Thursday,” the National Hurricane Center said.
Models indicate the system could “struggle to maintain its closed circulation” after entering the eastern Caribbean and that it could weaken as it interacts with Hispaniola.