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Tropical Depression Nine forms, is on an early path toward Florida as a hurricane

Braun, Michael
/
National Hurricane Center

Tropical Depression Nine formed overnight Friday in the southeastern Caribbean and is on a path to threaten Florida as a hurricane next week.

As of Friday at 5 a.m., the system had maximum sustained winds — with higher gusts — and was located around 600 miles east-southeast of Jamaica. It is moving to the west-northwest at 13 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Megan Borowski, with the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network, said it's too soon to determine the storm's long-term track.

"Tropical Depression Nine is a weak cluster of thunderstorms north of the Venezuelan coast and south of Hispaniola," Borowski said. "Over the next few days, only slow intensification is expected, but by next week, as the system nears the western Caribbean Sea and southern Gulf of Mexico, it could develop at a faster pace.

"It’s far too soon to tell what will happen beyond the weekend and its approach to the southern Gulf."

According to the hurricane center, the depression is forecast to turn become a tropical storm this weekend and could approach Cuba as a Category 2 hurricane by Tuesday with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph.

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Carl Lisciandrello is digital news editor of WUSF Public Media.