Tropical Storm Humberto likely to become a hurricane after skirting Bahamas

Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY

Tropical Storm Humberto, churning westward in the Atlantic on Saturday, was heading just north of the storm-ravaged islands of northwest Bahamas but was not expected to strengthen into a hurricane until moving back out to sea Sunday night.

The National Hurricane Center said the storm was expected to take a sharp turn to the northeast on Monday and move well off the east coast of Florida.

Kwasi Thompson, minister of state for Grand Bahama, warned that the system would affect the entire island and urged people to seek shelter. “As previous storms have taught us, things change very quickly,” he said. “We want residents to take it seriously.”

Forecasters expect the storm's path to be similar to Hurricane Dorian's but farther out to sea.

"The strengthening storm is forecast to take a curved path with initial movement to the northwest through Saturday, then the north from Sunday to Monday and perhaps a turn to the northeast from Monday to Tuesday," said AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.

The storm is likely to generate swells from east-central Florida to South Carolina late this weekend and early next week that could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions, the hurricane center said.

Consider this: Are Category 5 hurricanes such as Dorian the 'new normal'?

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As of 5 p.m., Humberto, with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph, was about 70 miles east-northeast of Great Abaco Island, moving northwest at 7 mph.

The storm is expected to produce total rain accumulations in the Bahamas of 2 to 4 inches through Monday and up to 6 inches in some areas, the hurricane center said.

Officials say about 1,300 people remain listed as missing nearly two weeks after Hurricane Dorian, a Category 5 storm, hit the northern Bahamas.

At least 42 people died in Abaco, the hardest-hit island, and eight in Grand Bahama. Prime Minister Hubert Minnis has warned that number will increase significantly.

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tropical Storm Humberto path: Could become hurricane after Bahamas