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Brewing tropical storm may threaten Bahamas, Florida as a hurricane

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A budding tropical disturbance has the potential to reach Florida with gusty winds, showers and thunderstorms during Sunday and Monday.

Only one of two active Atlantic tropical systems poses a significant threat to land during the next 10 days. That system, dubbed 99L, has the potential to become Tropical Depression Eight and Tropical Storm Hermine late this week.

The disturbance, currently located about 1,700 miles southeast of Miami, is forecast to take a general west-northwest path near or just north of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola during Wednesday into Thursday.

"99L has the potential to become very well-organized over the Bahamas, just east of Florida this weekend," according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.

Provided 99L keeps some distance north of Hispaniola, there is the potential for significant strengthening, perhaps to a hurricane this weekend.

The intensity of the squalls, winds and seas will depend on how quickly 99L strengthens along the way.

Regardless of the strength of 99L, gusty showers, thunderstorms and rough seas will spread northwestward. Rip currents will also increase in strength and number.

Seas could become very dangerous, especially for small craft from the northeastern coast of Cuba through much of the Bahamas during Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

On Sunday, people along the east coast of Florida and the northern Florida Keys should be prepared for deteriorating weather and sea conditions. Squalls could increase and seas and surf may get rough.

Steering currents may weaken to the point that the forward speed of the system may slow and the steady path could fluctuate from this weekend into next week, Kottlowski stated.

"As a result, all people living and having interests in and around the Bahamas, Cuba and Florida should closely monitor the movement of this evolving tropical system," Kottlowski said.

The amount of rain delivered would increase exponentially and elevate the flood risk over the Bahamas and the Florida Peninsula, if the forward motion of the storm slows.

During the first part of next week, a path north of Florida, just off the Atlantic coast of the United States is likely to be blocked, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Bernie Rayno.

Because of this, 99L could be steered westward across Florida and and enter the eastern Gulf of Mexico during next week.

If the storm enters the the Gulf of Mexico, a landfall along the upper Gulf coast of the U.S. would be a possibility.