Related: 60+ nonperishable items to consider for your emergency kit
It has winds of 35 mph and is expected to strengthen into Tropical Storm Fiona later Wednesday or Thursday, meteorologists said. The current 5-day forecast does not have the storm becoming a hurricane.
The categories, in order of increasing strength, are tropical depression, tropical storm and hurricane (categories 1 through 5).
Where is it going?
The storm is expected to reach the Caribbean, but forecasters said environmental conditions should prevent the system from strengthening.
It is expected to start weakening over the weekend while it moves over the mountainous terrain in Hispaniola, forecasters said.
Regardless of development, the system is expected to bring gusty winds and heavy rainfall to parts of the Leeward Islands on Friday and Saturday. A tropical storm watch may be issued later in the day, forecasters said.
The Gulf of Mexico is expected to stay quiet for the next 48 hours, forecasters said.
Busiest time of the season
This is historically the busiest time of the Atlantic hurricane season.
In the last 100 years, the tropics have been the most active in August, September and October, with Sept. 10 being the peak of the season, according to federal forecasters. About 80% of the systems that have hit the Gulf Coast formed during this time, according to the National Weather Service in Slidell.
So far, there have been five named storms this season - Alex, Bonnie, Colin, Danielle and Earl. The next available name is Fiona.
Hurricane season ends Nov. 30, but storms can form any time.
On the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, the wind categories are:
Tropical depression: up to 38 mphTropical storm: 39 to 73 mphCategory 1 hurricane: 74 to 95 mphCategory 2 hurricane: 96 to 110 mphCategory 3 hurricane (major hurricane): 111 to 129 mphCategory 4 hurricane: 130-156 mphCategory 5 hurricane: 157 mph and higher
What to do now
Now is the time to review hurricane plans and make sure your property is ready for hurricane season.
Here are some tips from the National Weather Service for how to prepare for the season:
Put together an emergency kit. Here are 60+ nonperishable items to consider including.Check emergency equipment, such as flashlights, generators and storm shutters.Make a plan with your family or close friends and decide how you will get in touch and where you will go if there's an emergency. Here's how to decide if you should evacuate.Plan your evacuation route and have an alternate route. Here are 15 things to do before evacuating.Make a plan for your pets. Here are some tips.If you have a generator, check it and see if any maintenance needs to be done. Don't forget these important generator safety tips.Do any maintenance you've been putting off on your vehicle.Review your insurance policies.Keep your trees around your home trimmed to prevent damage from broken branches. Here's advice from gardening expert Dan Gill.Have materials in advance to board windows to protect them from flying debris.
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