Tropical Depression Nine is expected to become a tropical storm later today, over the eastern tropical Atlantic, the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) has said.
At 5a.m. the center of the depression was located near latitude 14.3 north, longitude 35.4 west or about 1,720 miles east of the Windward Islands.
There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.
Forecasters say the system is moving towards the west-northwest near five miles per hour (seven kilometres per hour). A turn toward the west is expected later today and that general motion, at a slightly faster forward speed, is forecast to continue through the weekend and into early next week.
Maximum sustained winds are near 35 miles per hour (55 kilometres per hour) with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is forecast during the next few days, and the depression is expected to become a tropical storm later today and a hurricane by early next week.
Meanwhile the NHC said Tropical Storm Florence is forecast to become a hurricane by Sunday and a major hurricane again early next week.
At 5a.m. the center of the system was located near latitude 24.5 north, longitude 54.2 west or about 840 miles (1,350 kilometres) south east of Bermuda and about 720 miles (1,155 kilometres) north east of the northern Leeward Islands.
Florence is moving toward the west near 9 miles per hour (14 kilometres) and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple days. A west-northwestward motion, with an increase in forward speed, is expected by early next week and continue into middle part of next week. On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the warm waters of the southwestern Atlantic Ocean through Wednesday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 65 miles per hour (100 kilometres per hour) with higher gusts. Gradual restrengthening is forecast over the weekend and Florence is expected to become a hurricane again by Sunday and a major hurricane early next week.
At the same time – the third system – Tropical Storm Helene is expected to become a hurricane on Sunday.
At 8a.m. the center of the system was located near latitude 13.6 north, longitude 20.2 west, or about 290 miles (465 kilometres) east south east of the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands, moving towards the west near 13 miles per hour (20 kilometres per hour). This general motion will likely continue through the weekend. A gradual turn toward the west-northwest with an increase in forward speed is expected early next week. On the forecast track, Helene will pass very close to the southern Cabo Verde Islands tonight and early Sunday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 45 miles per hour (75 kilometres per hour) with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast for the next couple of days and Helene is expected to become a hurricane on Sunday.