Tropical Storm Gert Has Hurricane Potential

Update at 2:30 p.m: The National Hurricane Centre predicts Gert is likely to become a hurricane sooner than initially expected. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 60 mph (95 km/h) with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast and Gert is expected to become a hurricane by tomorrow night.

FLORIDA, United States, Monday August 14, 2017 – Tropical Storm Gert, which became the seventh named storm of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season yesterday evening, could become a hurricane, according to forecasters.

But before it does, it’s expected to pass between Bermuda and United States, without much threat.

The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami said this morning that Gert, with maximum sustained winds near 45 miles per hour, was moving north-northwestward over the western Atlantic well away from land.

It was located about 475 miles west southwest of Bermuda and moving towards the north northwest at nine miles per hour.

“A turn toward the north is forecast to occur later this morning, followed by a turn toward the north-northeast by tonight.  On the forecast track, Gert is expected to pass about midway between the United States east coast and Bermuda on Tuesday,” the NHC said in its 5 a.m. advisory.

“Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Gert could become a hurricane by Wednesday.”

Currently, however, there are no hazards affecting land.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic, the NHC highlighted a new area of interest off the coast of Africa for a medium chance of development in the next five days.

Last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) updated its hurricane season outlook, saying this season has the potential to be extremely active, and could be the most active since 2010.

Forecasters now say there is a 60 per cent chance of an above-normal season (compared to the May prediction of 45 per cent chance), with 14-19 named storms (increased from the May predicted range of 11-17) and 2-5 major hurricanes (increased from the May predicted range of 2-4). A prediction for 5-9 hurricanes remains unchanged from the initial May outlook.

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