TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Hurricane Teddy strengthened to become a major Category 3 storm on Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said.
Meanwhile, Sally – which made landfall Wednesday along the U.S. Gulf Coast as a Category 2 hurricane – became post-tropical.
Here’s the latest on what we’re tracking in the tropics:
Tropical Depression 22
A line of storms in the Gulf of Mexico has become better organized over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico and formed into Tropical Depression 22.
“Some strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days, and the depression could become a tropical storm on Friday,” the NHC said.
The depression is currently 35 mph.
According to the NHC, the area is expected to meander over the Gulf into the weekend.
Teddy reached Category 3 hurricane strength at 11 a.m. ET Thursday and is expected to create swells that are forecast to spread across the southwestern Atlantic into the weekend, increasing the threat of rip currents.
According to the latest advisory from the NHC, Teddy has 120 mph maximum sustained winds with some higher gusts. It’s about 610 miles east-northeast of the Lesser Antilles and moving northwest at about 12 mph.
NHC forecasters believe Teddy could strengthen a bit more Thursday night but said a “slow weakening trend” is expected to begin over the weekend.
Teddy is expected to approach Bermuda this weekend as a hurricane. The NHC said Thursday the exact details of Teddy’s track and intensity when it nears the island are not yet known but noted the risk of strong winds, storm surge and heavy rainfall is increasing.
The NHC also warned about swells produced by Teddy. They’re expected to impact the southeastern United State late this week and into this weekend. Parts of the Leeward Islands, the Greater Antilles, the Bahamas and Bermuda will also likely be impacted.
“These swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions,” the NHC said.
Just more than 24 hours after Sally made landfall near Gulf Shores, Alabama as a Category 2 hurricane, the storm became post-tropical.
The NHC issued its final advisory on Post-tropical Depression Sally at 11 a.m. and said the system was still producing torrential rains across the Carolinas.
The remnants of Sally are about 115 miles southwest of Athens, Georgia with maximum sustained winds of 30 mph. Flash flood watches are in effect in northeast Georgia, upstate South Carolina, most of North Carolina and southeast Virginia. A tornado watch has been posted in parts of South Carolina.
Tropical Depression Vicky
Vicky finally weakened to a tropical depression on Thursday morning and is expected to become a remnant low later in the day.
According to the NHC’s 11 a.m. advisory, Vicky is about 1,000 miles west-northwest of the Cabo Verde Islands with 35 mph maximum sustained winds. Vicky is expected to continue weakening until dissipating Friday night or early Saturday.
Other areas to watch
The NHC is keeping a close eye on two other disturbances in the Atlantic basin that could potentially develop.
The first is an area of low pressure is being watched a few hundred miles south-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands. The NHC said it is producing disorganized shower and thunderstorm activity.
According to forecasters, environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for the area to develop in the coming days. The latest NHC outlook said a tropical depression could form before upper-level winds become less favorable this weekend.
The third area being watched is a non-tropical area of low pressure with showers and thunderstorms that the NHC said became more concentrated Thursday morning. The system is over the far northeastern Atlantic, several hundred miles east of the Azores.
“Some additional subtropical development is possible over the next day or so as it moves east-southeastward and then northeastward at about 10 mph,” the NHC said. “The system is expected to reach the coast of Portugal late Friday.”