THE 2021 Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30.
As Tropical Depression Nine continues to form over the Caribbean Sea, many are wondering if it will become the fourth hurricane this season.
Will Tropical Depression 9 be a hurricane?
As of August 26, 2021, Tropical Depression Nine is located in the western Caribbean Sea, about 210 miles southeast of Grand Cayman.
Weather.com reports that while it is still forming, it is likely to strengthen and become a tropical storm before moving towards the northern U.S. Gulf Coast "at near major hurricane strength by late this weekend."
While it is still too early to know specifics, The National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported that there is the potential for hurricane-force winds, flooding rainfall and life-threatening storm surges in parts of the United States by Sunday and Monday.
"The sooner the system strengthens, the more likely it is to take a northwesterly track into the central Gulf of Mexico, rather than a westward track across Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and into the southwestern Gulf," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Rob Miller said.
It has been reported that Tropical Depression Nine could become a Category 3 hurricane once it makes landfall.
NHC cautions Texas, Louisiana to Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle to monitor the situation.
What is a tropical depression?
According to the National Weather Service, a tropical depression is defined as, "a tropical cyclone that has maximum sustained surface winds (one-minute average) of 38 mph (33 knots) or less."
A tropical depression then becomes a tropical storm once the maximum sustained surface winds ranges from 39-73 mph.
How do you prepare for a Tropical Storm or Hurricane?
The NHC cautions residents in the potential areas so that they can best prepare in the event the weather system worsens and causes life-threatening conditions.
The National Weather Service recommends that things people should do before a Tropical Storm or Hurricane include:
- Know your cities hurricane evacuation area
- Put together an emergency kit
- Review insurance policies
- Strengthen your home and remove loose outdoor items that could potentially become debris along with putting cars inside garages
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