Tropical depression forms, expected to become Tropical Storm Larry by Wednesday

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A tropical depression formed Tuesday from a tropical wave a few hundred miles off the west coast of Africa, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Forecasters expect the system to develop into Tropical Storm Larry by Wednesday and up to hurricane strength as soon as Thursday, according to the hurricane center.

As of 5 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday, the system was moving west-northwest at 16 mph with maximum winds of 35 mph.

It’s likely to move east over the Atlantic Ocean in the direction of the Caribbean at about 20 mph. Forecasters say conditions support its further development.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Kate was downgraded to a tropical depression Tuesday and little change in its strength is forecast over the next day or so, experts said.

Kate, which formed Monday and is the 11th named storm of the 2021 season, is expected to stay east of the U.S. mainland as it moves north then takes a turn northwest over the central Atlantic Ocean. It was moving north at 5 mph Tuesday morning.

Lastly, an area of low pressure is expected to form in the southern Caribbean Sea later this week. It’s forecast to move over the western Caribbean Sea toward Central America’s east coast. Any additional development is unlikely once it moves over land in Central America and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

The forecast from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center has predicted 7 to 10 hurricanes and a total of 15 to 21 named storms this Atlantic season, which means those with winds speeds of at least 39 mph. The number of expected major hurricanes, which means those with winds of at least 111 mph, is three to five.

As of Aug. 31, we've had 11 named storms and four hurricanes, two of which have been major hurricanes.

Hurricane Ida was a strong Category 4 when it made landfall Sunday near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, about 100 miles south of New Orleans. Hurricane Grace formed in the Caribbean in mid-August and hit Mexico at Category 3 strength.

After Larry, the next named storm to form would be Mindy.