Forecasters: Caribbean storm could become hurricane

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Forecast models indicate that it could organize and strengthen into a tropical storm or a weak hurricane before making landfall along the Mississippi/Alabama/Florida coast sometime Wednesday or Thursday. The NWS puts the chances of formation at 40 percent over the next 48 hours.

The system is expected to become a tropical depression late Saturday or Sunday and become a tropical storm by Sunday night, the center said. The current forecast track has the depression becoming a Category 1 hurricane by early Wednesday morning and likely bringing storm surge, rainfall and strong winds to the Gulf later this week. So far, it is forecast to make landfall somewhere between the MS coast and the Big Bend in Florida.

There remains no threat to land as the hurricane continues to pace around in the open Atlantic waters.

Melania Trump visits slave dungeon in Ghana
Mrs Trump receives flowers during an arrival ceremony after landing at Kotoka International Airport in Accra October 2, 2018. Former US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama in 2009 on a visit to Ghana also visited the castle.

Western Cuba can expect 3 to 7 inches of rain, with 12 inches possible in some areas, according to the center. The model has the storm passing through SC sometime between Wednesday evening and Thursday afternoon as a tropical storm before weakening back to a depression.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Leslie continues its easterly path across the central Atlantic with maximum sustained winds of 60 miles per hour. It has to get through quite a bit of wind shear, before it enters the Gulf of Mexico. The low could gradually acquire subtropical or tropical characteristics over the next few days while the system moves generally eastward and remains over warm waters. Michael should be a fairly low impact storm for our area. The system will remain a tropical storm for the next several days with little change in strength. We need to pay attention to this system.

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