New tropical depression forms in Caribbean, could threaten US
The year’s ninth tropical depression has formed and could be near major hurricane strength by the time it reaches the United States Gulf coast by Sunday.
As of 11 a.m., the center of Tropical Depression Nine was located near latitude 16.9 North, longitude 79.2 West, about 115 miles south-southwest of Negril, Jamaica.
The depression is moving toward the northwest near 13 mph, and this general motion should continue over the next few days.
Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph with higher gusts.
Steady strengthening is forecast during the next few days. The depression is expected to become a tropical storm Thursday night, at which point it would take the name Ida.
The estimated minimum central pressure is 29.68 inches.
On the forecast track, the center of the depression will pass near of over the Cayman Islands Thursday night, the Isle of Youth and Western Cuba Friday, and move over the southeastern and central Gulf of Mexico Friday night and Saturday.
It is expected to become a hurricane when it is near western Cuba or over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. Additional strengthening is likely over the Gulf of Mexico and the National Hurricane Center says it could be close to a Category 3 hurricane by Sunday when it approaches the northern Gulf coast.
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