RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Tropical Depression Five continues to gain strength. As of the 11 p.m. advisory the storm was sitting just over 1000 miles east of the Windward Islands with winds up to 35 miles per hour, and is moving to the west at 23 mph.
The current forecast cone from the National Hurricane Center has T.D. Five strengthening into Tropical Storm Elsa by Thursday morning, which would make it the earliest fifth named storm on record.
Once what will be Elsa enters the Caribbean Sea Friday, the future is up in the air.
The mountains of Hispaniola and Cuba have been known to tear apart tropical systems. If the storm avoids or survives the mountains, there is a chance it can move into the Gulf of Mexico by early next week.
This forecast will likely change, so we don’t need to start worrying about our friends and family in the Caribbean or Florida just yet, but it’s a storm to watch.
As it stands now, Central North Carolina does not look to see direct impacts from this storm, although a few forecast solutions do take it more east, and could bring it toward the Southeastern United States.
While this is not a forecast solution that looks likely right now, it is not out of the realm of possibilities. We will keep you updated, just don’t worry yet; this is simply another reminder to always be prepared.