After a fairly mild summer, the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season is catching up quickly. Hurricane Fiona just swept by, leaving Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and parts of the Caribbean devastated. Tropical Storm Gaston is swirling out in the central Atlantic. And a new tropical depression threatens to hit Florida as a major hurricane.
Readers are asking a lot of questions, so here's what we know so far.
Revised seasonal forecast: Atlantic hurricane season off to slow start. But top forecasters still expect above-normal activity
Is a hurricane going to hit Florida?
Possibly, maybe probably. Most of the early models of Tropical Depression Nine show landfall somewhere along Florida's west coast up to the Panhandle.
"In fact, this forecast calls for the system to approach the Florida peninsula as a major hurricane by day 5," said Brad Reinhart, hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center," which is supported by the latest IVCN and HCCA aids."
But we're still early in the process and it's unclear what will happen when Tropical Depression Nine crosses Cuba or exactly when the storm will start strengthening after that, and those will have an impact on where the storm goes and when it turns.
What will the hurricane be called?
The next name in the 2022 list is Hermine. But Tropical Depression Ten also formed in the Atlantic Friday, far to the west, and it will be a race to see who gets the name first.
The next names after Hermine are Ian, Julia and Karl.
Hurricane preparation: Your guide to preparing for the 2022 hurricane season in Florida
Where the storms are: Track all active storms here
How big will the hurricane be when it hits Florida?
Too soon to say. Tropical Depression Nine is fighting significant wind shear which is keeping its development down for now. But the National Weather Service expects it to become a tropical storm by Friday night and to begin rapidly getting stronger Sunday and Monday. The official forecast, as of early Friday afternoon, is for the storm to reach Category 3 strength by early Wednesday.
When is the hurricane supposed to hit Florida?
Tropical Depression Nine is expected to become a named tropical storm by Friday night, and a hurricane sometime before it reaches Cuba early Monday. Currently, the National Hurricane Center forecasts tropical-storm-force winds to reach Florida's coast by 8 p.m. Monday with the storm arriving early Wednesday, but this easily can change.
Where is the hurricane right now?
How do you pronounce Hermine?
It's not pronounced like the character in the "Harry Potter" books; she was Hermione, pronounced Her-MI-oh-nee.
Didn't we already get hit by Hurricane Hermine?
Yes. Hurricane Hermine was a Category 1 hurricane that made landfall in the Big Bend six years ago with 80 mph sustained winds. It left about 100,000 people in Tallahassee without power, 90% of the city’s traffic signals inoperable, and more than 35,000 tons of debris scattered around the area.
Hurricane Hermine 2016: By the numbers
The list of hurricane names is repeated every sixth year. Names are only removed if a storm is deadly or so costly that using the name again would be inappropriate and insensitive.
C. A. Bridges is a Digital Producer for the USA TODAY Network, working with multiple newsrooms across Florida. Local journalists work hard to keep you informed about the things you care about, and you can support them by subscribing to your local news organization. Read more articles by Chris here and follow him on Twitter at @cabridges
This article originally appeared on Naples Daily News: Tropical Depression 9: What we know and how it may affect Florida