Tropical Storm Larry has strengthened into the fifth hurricane of the 2021 Atlantic season and is forecast to turn into a Category 3 storm in the next 48 hours and a Cat 4 by Sunday.
Larry is not expected to affect Florida.
The Category 1 hurricane was about 765 miles west of the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands in the eastern Atlantic as of the Thursday 5 p.m. update, with maximum sustained winds of nearly 80 mph with higher gusts, according to the National Hurricane Center. Hurricane-force winds extend up to 25 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend up to 160 miles from the center.
Larry is forecast to move quickly toward the west at 18 mph. It should then gradually turn west-northwest and slightly slow down Friday, when it’s also forecast to turn into a major hurricane. By the weekend, it’s expected to hit Category 4 with sustained winds of 140 mph. The forecast then shows it weakening back into a Cat 3 as it inches closer to Bermuda.
Forecasters are also monitoring a disturbance near the coast of Nicaragua that has a 10% chance of formation in the next 48 hours and a 20% chance through the next five days, as of the 2 p.m. update.
“Regardless of development, heavy rains are possible across portions of Central America and the Yucatan Peninsula over the weekend,” according to forecasters.
The hurricane center began tracking a new disturbance Thursday morning to the east of Hurricane Larry. The area of low pressure could strengthen in the next day or so, but after that conditions for development are expected to get worse.
As of the 2 p.m. update the disturbance had a 30% chance of formation in the next two to five days.