CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Potential Tropical Cyclone 9 is expected to strengthen into a tropical storm as it continues its path westward Wednesday night.
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As of this evening, the system is about 280 miles southeast of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic as it moves west-northwest at 18 mph with maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour.
Officials with the National Hurricane Center said there is a 90% chance that the system will develop into a tropical storm in the next 48 hours.
The latest forecast track shows the system continue to pass south of Puerto Rico tonight, near eastern Cuba and the southern Bahamas on Friday, then approach southern Florida Friday night.
“As of right now, it’s not even a tropical system. It’s just an area of low pressure potential cyclone as we track it this evening,” said Live 5 Meteorologist Stephanie Sine.
Sine said we are still days away from really pinpointing if It will affect the southeast or the Lowcountry.
According to the latest information from the National Hurricane Center, the long range track and intensity forecasts for this system remains uncertain since the system does not have a well-defined center yet.
It’s expected to move near or over portions of the Greater Antilles later this weak, and then move near or over Florida this weekend.
Meteorologists say the system is expected to bring rainfall and wind to portions of Cuba, and Floria later this week into the weekend, however they say it’s too soon to tell how intense those impacts could be.
“We still have quite a few days to really pinpoint where the storm is going, and like I mentioned, it’s not even a named storm yet,” Sine said.
The system is still expected to become a tropical storm before it reaches Hispanola with some slight strengthening occurring Thursday morning, according to the latest data from NHC.
Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine is expected to bring heavy rains and flash flooding to the northern Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and northern Haiti.