A strong tropical storm off the west coast of Africa is expected to pick up speed and become the first hurricane of the season later on Tuesday.
As of Tuesday morning, there have been no hurricanes this season in the Atlantic Ocean, but Tropical Storm Humberto is expected to surpass wind speeds of 74 mph, at which point it would become a hurricane.
The storm is currently located about 150 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands and has maximum wind speeds of 65 miles per hour. Forecasters expect the storm to continue to move west-northwest away from the islands before reaching wind speeds of up to 100 mph.
By early Saturday morning, however, Humberto should weaken back into a tropical storm before it reaches any land. There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect and it is not posing a threat to land, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm should continue to strengthen for another 36 hours while it is over warm water and in an area with little cross winds, the NHC reported in a forecast discussion. After that time, however, several factors will appear that should cause the storm to weaken, including drier air and cross winds.
Meanwhile, another tropical storm in the Atlantic, Gabrielle, is approaching Bermuda and should pass over or near the island in about 24 hours, according to the NHC. The storm currently has maximum wind speeds of about 40 mph and is expected to bring tropical storm conditions to Bermuda within the next 12 to 24 hours, the NHC reported in an advisory.'
As Gabrielle is expected to strengthen during the next two days, with winds of up to 70 mph, residents in the area can expect tide levels two to three feet above normal, rough surf conditions and two to four inches of rainfall.
Althought there have been four hurricanes in the Pacific Ocean (Barbara, Cosme, Dalila and Erick) there have been none so far in the Atlantic, despite a forecast for an above average hurricane season.
And if Humberto develops into a hurricane after 8 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, it will be the latest first hurricane of the season on record, according to Alex Sosnowski, an AccuWeather senior meteorologist. The latest-forming hurricane record is currently held by Gustav, a tropical storm that developed into a hurricane midday on Sept. 11, 2002, shortly after 8 a.m.