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Tropical Depression 14 Forms in Atlantic

Another weekend of bad weather appears likely as Tropical Depression 14 heads in the general direction of the Virgin Islands. It grew quickly from a tropical wave, getting its number at the 5 p.m. update Tuesday.

“It’s four to five days away,” said meteorologist Brian Seeley at the National Weather Service in San Juan.

That means that conditions should start to go downhill Saturday, Seeley said.

He expects it to become Tropical Storm Maria later Tuesday or early Wednesday, with the storm on the borderline between a tropical storm and a Category 1 hurricane when it reaches the area.

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However, he cautioned that when storms are this far away, there is a lot of uncertainty when it comes to the track and the intensity.

According to Seeley, even if the track takes it a bit more to the north or to the south, the territory can still expect some bad weather.

“You need to watch it closely,” he said.

He said the storm could be a bit stronger than Tropical Storm Irene when it reaches the Virgin Islands.

The depression is currently centered at 11.8 degrees north latitude and 37 degrees west longitude. It has a wind speed of 35 mph and is moving west-northwest at 18 mph. The barometric pressure stands at 1008 millibars.

As if this wasn’t enough to ponder, Seeley said that a tropical wave should reach the area Wednesday afternoon into Thursday.

“There are some boomers in there,” he said.

He said the territory could get some showers heavy enough to cause minor street flooding as well as some gusty winds.

The territory should get a break on Friday, but Seeley said that will give them time to prepare for Saturday’s predicted bad weather.

Seeley reminded V.I. residents that the peak of the hurricane season will be Sept. 10 so they should be prepared for storms.

“Systems can develop and strengthen very quickly,” he said.

Hurricane season officially ends Nov. 30, but storms have developed after that date.

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