Storm Developing Off Africa Has Potential to Grow Into Hurricane

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A storm developing in the Atlantic Ocean near Africa is threatening to reach tropical strength and could threaten the Caribbean and the U.S.

The collection of shower and thunderstorms southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands has an 80% chance of becoming a tropical storm over the next 48 hours, according to the National Hurricane Center. A system becomes a tropical storm when its winds reach 39 miles (63 kilometers) per hour, and it becomes a hurricane when they hit 74. 

“There are some indications it could become a hurricane over the weekend,” said Randy Adkins, a senior meteorologist at Accuweather. “It’s certainly one we’ll be watching. This is the kind of system we worry about.” 

The storm could approach the Caribbean on Sunday or Monday, Adkins said. 

The storm will have plenty of time to develop and strengthen as it makes the long trek across the warm waters of the Atlantic, said Jim Rouiller, lead meteorologist at the Energy Weather Group.

Another batch of showers and thunderstorms a few hundred miles northeast of the Bahamas may also develop into a tropical storm but isn’t expected to cause serious impacts in the U.S., the meteorologists said. 

Tropical Storm Nicholas, which made landfall in Texas on Tuesday, was the Atlantic’s 14th tropical storm or hurricane this year. Last year there were 20 storms during the same period. 

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