At 11 a.m. Friday, the approaching storm system, packing sustained wind speeds of 30 miles per hour, was about 190 miles southeast of the hard-hit Abaco Islands, according to the National Hurricane Center. It was expected to gain strength and bring tropical storm-force winds — defined as sustained winds of 39 to 73 miles per hour — and heavy rainfall to the northwest Bahamas on Friday and Saturday, forecasters said. A tropical storm warning was in effect for much of the area.
Parts of Florida’s east coast could get tropical storm-force winds over the weekend, and residents were advised to monitor the storm’s progress. The storm was moving very slowly as of late Friday morning, at just one mile per hour, but forecasters expected it to gain some speed through the weekend.
Significant storm surge was not expected, forecasters said. But parts of the Bahamas were expected to get two to four inches of rain, and up to six inches in some isolated spots, while the eastern coast of the United States from Central Florida through South Carolina could get two to four inches.
The National Hurricane Center said at 11 a.m. Friday that it was 80 percent likely to reach that strength within 48 hours, and 90 percent likely within five days.
Jacey Fortin contributed reporting