eye on the storm

Tropical Depression 9 becomes Tropical Storm Humberto

Hurricane

Tropical Depression 9 became a named storm — Tropical Storm Humberto — late Friday night, the National Hurricane Center announced at 11 p.m.

Earlier in the day Potential Tropical Cyclone 9 was upgraded to Tropical Depression 9 at 5 p.m. as a center of circulation has formed within the thunderstorms east of the Bahamas.

Tropical Storm Humberto has 40 mph winds as of 11 p.m. Friday, according to the hurricane center.

The storm is moving northwest at just 6 mph. It is located about 130 miles east-southeast of Great Abaco Island, Bahamas.

Conditions are favorable for it to strengthen as it tracks to the northwest. The official forecast path takes the storm off the east coast of Florida this weekend, still as a tropical storm (not a hurricane).

The extended forecast track shows the storm taking an eastward turn early next week, which would take the system farther out into the Atlantic and away from the coast of North Carolina. But the “cone of uncertainty” is still wide at that point — check back for updates over the next several days.

High wind shear will keep the storm from strengthening too much over the next 36 hours, but lower wind shear could allow greater intensification later in the weekend. Very warm water temperatures in the path of the developing system also favor a stronger system — for now, the NHC forecast shows the storm reaching hurricane strength by Monday afternoon.

Many of the forecast models (especially the more-accurate models) show a track even farther east of the NHC’s forecast path. Such a path would increase the odds that the system stays safely away from the North Carolina coast next week.

The CBS 17 Storm Team will continue tracking this developing tropical system as it evolves over the weekend.

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