FIRST ALERT: Tropical Depression 31 forms, forecast to become hurricane

FIRST ALERT: Tropical Depression 31 forms, forecast to become hurricane
Tropical Depression 31 (Source: WMBF)

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Tropical Depression 31 has formed and is expected to become Tropical Storm Iota later Friday.

Tropical Depression 31
Tropical Depression 31 (Source: WMBF)

At 10:00 a.m., the center of Tropical Depression 31 was located near latitude 14.2 North, longitude 74.3 West. The depression is moving toward the west-southwest near 7 mph and this motion is expected to continue through early Saturday. A westward to west-northwestward motion at a slightly faster forward speed is expected to begin by late Saturday and continue through early Monday.

On the forecast track, the system will move across the central Caribbean Sea during the next day or so, and approach the coasts of Nicaragua and northeastern Honduras late Sunday and Monday. Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph with higher gusts. The depression is forecast to strengthen into a tropical storm later Friday or tonight.

Additional strengthening is likely over the weekend, and the system could be near major hurricane strength when it approaches Central America. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1007 mb.

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