Tropical Depression 9 strengthens in Caribbean to hit Florida next week as Hurricane Hermine

South Florida is now in the forecast cone as meteorologists continue to monitor Tropical Depression Nine, which is forecast to strengthen into Hurricane Hermine.

The system will be in a favorable environment for strengthening into a Category 3 as it moves through the southern Caribbean, so Florida residents should review hurricane preparation plans, and stay informed.

The depression is forecast to strengthen into Hurricane Hermine by Sunday or Monday, and the tropical storm winds could begin as early as Monday in Florida.

The possible U.S. strike zone is wide — from the northern Gulf to the Florida Keys — and South Florida is at the tail end of the cone.

Watch the 3 p.m. report

Local 10 News Chief Meteorologist Betty Davis forecasts Tropical Depression 9 to strengthen to a Hurricane Category 3 and affect Florida on Wednesday morning.

Related story: Latest Talking Tropics morning newsletter by Local 10 Hurricane Specialist and Storm Surge Expert Michael Lowry

There is the potential for significant impacts anywhere from Central America to Jamaica and Cuba, depending on the exact track and intensity.

The latest National Hurricane Center advisory reported the depression was about 1,015 miles southeast of Havana, Cuba and it was moving west-northwest at 14 mph with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph.

The pull of a strong jet stream dip that’ll be ushering a cold front through the southeastern U.S. will prompt the storm to turn north.

The steering forecast beyond this weekend is tricky. Like football, hurricanes are a game of inches, especially when they’re turning, so the placement of the center by Sunday will have a big influence on how quickly and sharply it turns.

HURRICANE FIONA remains a major hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale and is moving northward away from the Bahamas.

Fiona is expected to pass far enough to the west of Bermuda overnight such that the strongest winds and heaviest rainfall are forecast to miss the islands, although it is still expected to bring wind gusts of 60-80 mph and 2-4 inches of rain.

Impacts from Fiona to Atlantic Canada are expected to be much more significant from Friday into Saturday, with 4-8 inches of rain falling in certain areas, and wind gusts of 80-100 mph for some.

This will likely lead to areas of flooding and widespread power outages that could last an extended period of time.

5 p.m. Gaston advisory

In addition, Tropical Storm Gaston is churning across open waters in the north-central Atlantic. Gaston is expected to near the westernmost Azores late this week and can bring some rain and gusty winds, but impacts should be minor overall.

Gaston is anticipated to dissipate across the northern Atlantic without bringing additional impacts to land.

As far as additional development, a tropical depression could form off the west coast of Africa later this week or this weekend. It could bring rain and wind to the Cabo Verde Islands.

Watch the 12 p.m. report

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