The National Hurricane Center began tracking its fourth tropical storm of the season on Saturday, with some models predicting that Tropical Storm Dorian could strengthen to a hurricane by early next week.
The storm formed in the Atlantic Ocean early Saturday and began strengthening as it moved west, traveling at speeds of about 12 miles per hour toward the Caribbean Ocean.
As of 9 p.m., Dorian was located less than 800 miles east-southeast of Barbados with maximum sustained winds of about 40 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center said. Some models predict Tropical Storm Dorian would arrive in the Lesser Antilles by Tuesday as a Category 1 hurricane.
The storm formed as another disturbance was scraping South Florida and the Bahamas. The low-pressure system is expected to stay inland as it heads north along Florida’s Atlantic coast, the National Hurricane Center said. But as it moves away from Florida and up the eastern seaboard, the storm system is forecast to strengthen into a tropical depression.
In the Tampa Bay area, the National Weather Service of Ruskin issued a 9 p.m. marine warning for coastal waters from Englewood to Tarpon Springs, urging boaters to seek safe harbor immediately. A thunderstorm capable of producing waterspouts was located two miles northeast of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, the report said. The storm was traveling southwest, bringing sustained winds of about 39 miles per hour.