Sept. 17, 2005 – Tropical Depression 17 formed Saturday morning, the 16th anniversary of the devastating Hurricane Hugo. Hugo ripped through the territory on Sept. 17 and 18, 1989. Six years later, destructive Hurricane Marilyn made her mark on Sept. 15 and 16, 1995.
However, it does not appear right now that Tropical Depression 17 will have the same impact.
"It looks like it will pass 200 to 300 miles northeast of the northern Virgin Islands on Tuesday into Wednesday," Brian Seeley, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in San Juan, said Saturday.
He said it could be a Category 2 hurricane when it nears the area. However, Seeley said it was too far away to predict what impact, if any, it will have on the Virgin Islands.
Unless another system north of the territory develops into a named storm faster than Tropical Depression 17, this one will be called Philippe. Rita is the next name on the list.
Forecasters predict that Tropical Depression 17 will become a tropical storm by Sunday and a Category 1 hurricane by Monday.
"It's slowly but steadily becoming better organized," Seeley said.
He said Tropical Depression 17 is over very warm water. That factor, coupled with favorable upper level conditions, increases the chance for development.
Seeley urged residents to pay close attention because the predicted track and intensity can change.
"This is very close for comfort," he said.
As of the 11 a.m. update, Tropical Depression 17 is centered is at 13 degrees north latitude and 55 degrees west longitude. This puts it about 350 miles east of Barbados.
The storm has winds of 35 mph with gusts to 45 mph.
It is moving to the northwest at 9 mph
The barometric pressure stands at 1008 millibars or 29.76 inches.
Seeley said another tropical wave about 300 to 400 miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands shows potential for development.
"And here's one more healthy wave behind it," Seeley said.
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