Eastern Atlantic depression could head for Caribbean

NEW YORK (BestGrowthStock) – The National Hurricane Center said newly formed Tropical Depression Nine in the eastern Atlantic Ocean would likely strengthen into Tropical Storm Gaston during the next 48 hours as it moved west on a path that could take it into the Caribbean Sea.

It was still too early to tell if the system would make its way into the oil-rich Gulf of Mexico.

Meanwhile, powerful Hurricane Earl and Tropical Storm Fiona were both mainly expected to march northerly in the Atlantic, off the U.S. East Coast, according to computer models.

Earl, currently a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale packing winds of 125 miles per hour, was about 170 miles east-northeast of San Salvador in the Bahamas and 725 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

It was churning northwest at 17 mph on an expected track off the Eastern Seaboard.

Earl was expected to remain a Category 3 storm at its peak intensity, according to the NHC. Private forecaster Weather 2000 said Earl may have already logged its peak intensity, with pending wind shear making it “quite challenging to surpass 140 mph in the western Atlantic this week.”

Tropical Storm Fiona, about 105 miles east-northeast of the northern Leeward Islands, had winds of up to 60 mph and was moving northwest at 17 mph, the NHC said.

Fiona was mostly expected to trek north in the Atlantic, further east from the U.S. East Coast than Earl, but a couple of computer models showed the system heading into the Caribbean and one showed it entering the southern Gulf of Mexico.

Fiona, however, was expected to remain a tropical storm at its peak.

(Reporting by Eileen Moustakis; editing by Jim Marshall)

Eastern Atlantic depression could head for Caribbean