Tropical Storm Dorian is strengthening as it moves off the west coast of Africa and into the Atlantic Ocean, according to the National Hurricane Center.
It carried 60 mile per hour winds and was about 1,800 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands on Thursday morning, the hurricane center reported. The storm was spinning west-northwest at about 17 miles per hour.
It could approach the Caribbean early next week.
Dorian is probably the first of many storms that will emerge off the west African coast as hurricane season ramps up in August. That area is known as a breeding ground for tropical storms from roughly late July to mid September, said hurricane center spokesman Dennis Feltgen.
Tropical waves — low-pressure systems with heavy winds and rainfall — spring off that coast about once every three or four days in a typical season, he said.
On average, Feltgen said, about five of these tropical systems develop into hurricanes.