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Raleigh, N.C. — The tropical disturbance near the Bahamas could develop into Tropical Storm Humberto this weekend, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.
“Humberto is imminent, it appears at this point,” she said.
The National Hurricane Center showed the disturbance, currently called potential tropical cyclone #9, moving northwest at 6 mph.
It has a 90% chance of developing into a tropical storm in the next five days.
If Humberto develops, it could hit Florida on Sunday morning.
It’s expected to swing east next week and could strengthen as it hugs the East Coast.
The forecast fan issued at 11 a.m. was just south of North Carolina.
The disturbance hadn’t reached closed circulation as of Friday morning, which is a criterion for being a tropical storm.
Its maximum sustained winds were 30 mph. Tropical storm’s maximum winds are between 39 and 73 mph.
While the disturbance is expected to hit the Bahamas, its impact won’t be as intense as Hurricane Dorian, which hit the northern islands as a Category 5 storm.
At least 1,300 people are still missing two weeks after the hurricane.
But Dorian developed off the coast of Africa and had plenty of time to strengthen over warm waters, Gardner said.
“This one is not going to have as much time to get cranked up,” she said of the disturbance, which could still cause damage despite being weaker.
A tropical storm warning was issued for the Bahamas on Thursday, and parts of the Florida coast are under a tropical storm watch.