July 11, 2005 Tropical Depression 5 formed late Sunday far out in the Atlantic, but is on a path that could take it close to the Virgin Islands. However, National Weather Service forecaster Hector Rivera said at 6:30 a.m. Monday from San Juan that it is far too early to determine the storm's impact.
"Anything can happen," he said.
However, he said that if the storm stays on its current track, it should pass about 150 miles south of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico at around 2 a.m. Friday as Hurricane Emily. He said when it reaches the area, Emily is expected to be a Category 1 storm. This means winds will be between 74 and 95 mph.
Rivera said the conditions are right for Tropical Depression 5 to strengthen into a tropical storm by Tuesday.
"The temperature of the water is very warm and the system is moving slowly," Rivera said.
He also said he expects the wind shear will decrease, which will allow for further strengthening.
As of the 5 a.m. update, Tropical Depression 5 was centered at 10.8 degrees north latitude and 43.6 degrees west longitude. Rivera said the storm is currently centered at 1,135 miles east of the Windward Islands.
The storm has winds of 35 mph with gusts to 45 mph.
It is moving to the west at 11 mph, but the track has it turning more to the north-northwest.
The barometric pressure stands at 1010 millibars or 29.81 inches.
This storm comes right on the heels of Hurricane Dennis, which hammered the Florida panhandle Sunday. Dennis passed to the south of the Virgin Islands last week as a tropical storm.
"The active season has started," Rivera said.
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