Hurricane No Threat; Depression Could Be
MIAMI (AP) _ Claudette, spinning at minimal hurricane strength in the Atlantic Ocean, continued its eastward drift as forecasters watched a Caribbean Sea tropical depression that could become a more dangerous storm.
The depression, which edged into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico early this morning, could become the season’s third hurricane by Wednesday, said forecaster Bob Case at the National Hurricane Center.
″We do expect it to strengthen today into a tropical storm. It looks highly favorable as the system moves over the warm Gulf water,″ said forecaster Hal Gerrish this morning.
If the depression reached tropical storm strength with maximum sustained winds of 38 mph, it would be named Danny.
The depression was heading northwest through the Gulf about 12 mph and was expected to continue in the same direction at about the same speed through Wednesday, Gerrish said. He said the depression, with winds about 35 mph, was about 160 miles west southwest of Havana.
Meanwhile, Claudette reached hurricane strength shortly before 6 p.m. EDT Monday, with maximum sustained winds of 74 mph. The hurricane was about 400 miles northeast of Bermuda moving east about 25 mph, the hurricane center reported early today.
Claudette formed as a tropical depression off North Carolina on Saturday.
The weak hurricane posed no threat to land, but the Caribbean depression continued to dump rain over parts of Cuba, Gerrish said.
Before Claudette, one tropical storm and one hurricane have developed so far this Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.
Bob, considered a mild hurricane, struck the coast of South Carolina last month, causing about $13 million in damages to the Southeast.