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  1. Hurricane

Jerry upgraded to a hurricane; still expected to stay away from Florida

It is projected to pass north of Puerto Rico on Saturday and east of the southeastern Bahamas on Sunday.
Atlantic tropical cyclones and disturbances, as of 11 a.m. Thursday. [National Hurricane Center]
Published Sep. 19
Updated Sep. 19

Tropical Storm Jerry has been upgraded to a hurricane, according to the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

As of 11 a.m., Jerry was located about 490 miles east of the Leeward Islands and moving west-northwest at 16 miles per hour. It had maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour with hurricane-force winds extending up to 10 miles from its center and tropical storm-force winds stretching out to 45 miles.

A west-northwest motion at a slightly faster forward speed is expected over the next few days. Its center is forecast to be near or north of the northern Leeward Islands Friday and pass north of Puerto Rico on Saturday and east of the southeastern Bahamas on Sunday.

Jerry is forecast to strengthen during the next day before some weakening begins this weekend.

The system is expected to dump 1 to 3 inches of rainfall, with isolated totals of up to 4 to 6 inches from Barbuda northwest across St. Marteen/Anguilla into Anegada. Rainfall of 1 to 2 inches with maximum amounts of 3 inches is expected across the the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Hurricane Humberto, located about 415 miles northeast of Bermuda, remains a Category 3 storm but is expected to weaken soon, according to the hurricane center. Currently packing maximum sustained winds of 110 mph, it should start to weaken today and become a post-tropical cyclone by Friday.

Moving toward the northeast at 24 mph, Humberto is expected to switch to a north-northeastward motion Thursday night and Friday and then turn toward the east-northeast Friday night and Saturday.

Meanwhile, the remnants of Tropical Depression Imelda unleashed torrential rain Thursday in parts of Texas, prompting hundreds of water rescues, a hospital evacuation and road closures as the powerful storm system drew comparisons to Hurricane Harvey two years ago.

Although amount of predicted rainfall is massive — forecasters say some places could see 40 inches or more this week — Imelda’s deluge is largely targeting areas east of Houston, including the small town of Winnie and the city of Beaumont.

Still, the Houston area faced heavy rains Thursday, leading forecasters to issue a flash flood emergency through midday Thursday for Harris County. In that area, forecasters said 3 to 5 inches of rain is possible per hour.

Elsewhere, a tropical wave about 1000 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands is producing disorganized cloudiness and showers. Some development is possible while the system approaches the Windward Islands this weekend or when it moves across the eastern Caribbean Sea early next week.

Also, an area of low pressure just south of the Dominican Republic is expected to dump heavy rain over portions of the Dominican Republic and Haiti during the next day or two. Although upper-level winds are not conducive for significant development, according to the hurricane center, some slight development is still possible before the system begins to interact with the high terrain of Hispaniola.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

2019 Tampa Bay Times Hurricane Guide

HURRICANE SEASON IS HERE: Get ready and stay informed at tampabay.com/hurricane

PREPARE YOUR STUFF: Get your documents and your data ready for a storm

BUILD YOUR KIT: The stuff you’ll need to stay safe — and comfortable — for the storm

PROTECT YOUR PETS: Your pets can’t get ready for a storm. That’s your job

NEED TO KNOW: Click here to find your evacuation zone and shelter

What Michael taught the Panhandle and Tampa Bay

What the Panhandle’s top emergency officials learned from Michael

‘We’re not going to give up.’ What a school superintendent learned from Michael

What Tampa Bay school leaders fear most from a storm

Tampa Bay’s top cops fear for those who stay behind

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