Tropical Storm Humberto forms near Bahamas, forecast to miss NC

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— A tropical depression near the Bahamas has strengthened into Tropical Storm Humberto.

Parts of the northwestern Bahamas that were recently pummeled by Hurricane Dorian are expected to experience tropical-storm-force winds and heavy rain over the weekend, but not significant storm surge.

The storm could bring two to four inches of rainfall to the islands, WRAL meteorologist Peta Sheerwood said.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Saturday morning that the storm was located about 70 miles (10 kilometers) east of Great Abaco Island and moving northwest at 7 mph (11 kph). It had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (64 kph).

A tropical storm warning is in effect for the northwestern Bahamas, excluding Andros Island.

Forecasters expect the storm to stay offshore of Florida’s eastern coast, so a tropical storm watch is no longer in effect for the state.

Humberto is tracked to move east into the sea before reaching North Carolina, but it could increase the risk for rip currents along the coast, Sheerwood said.

A high-pressure ridge and a trough will keep it away from land.