TD12 Predicted to Build Into Hurricane Katrina, Hit South Florida Thursday

The National Hurricane Center in Miami predicts Tropical Depression 12 will build to near hurricane strength before it hits the South Florida coast late Thursday as Hurricane Katrina. Forecasters say Hurricane Katrina could reach sustained winds of 72 miles-an-hour Thursday afternoon when it will be less than 100 miles east of Miami Beach.

The Hurricane Center has the center of the storm well inland northeast of Fort Lauderdale Friday afternoon.

The National Hurricane Center expects a tropical storm or hurricane watch for South Florida to soon be in effect, with winds predicted to reach up to 70 mph before landfall.

Tropical Depression 12 was in the southeast Bahamas Tuesday night, about 95 miles southeast of Nassau, traveling northwest at 8 mph. The government of the Bahamas issued a tropical storm warning for the central and northwest Bahamas.

The hurricane center reminds people that forecasts for two and three days often change due to steering currents, and the margin of error could have the center hitting anywhere northern Cuba to Daytona Beach.

A large tropical wave is located about 1,000 miles west of the Cape Verde islands. The associated thunderstorm activity is currently poorly organized…while atmospheric conditions are only marginally favorable for development.

There is still some potential for the system to develop into a tropical depression during the next couple of days as it moves westward or west-northwestward at 10 to 15 mph.

Showers and thunderstorms have increased this morning in association with a tropical wave over the northeastern Caribbean sea. Upper-level winds are currently not favorable for significant development. Elsewhere…tropical storm formation is not expected through Thursday.