Tropical Depression Reaches Cape Verde Islands

The outer bands of a tropical depression brought rain squalls early Tuesday to the southern Cape Verde islands in the far eastern Atlantic early Tuesday, forecasters said.

At 8 a.m. EDT, the depression was centered 130 miles south-southwest of the southernmost Cape Verde islands and was moving toward the west-northwest at about 16 mph.

The storm, which formed Monday, had maximum sustained winds near 35 mph, 4 mph below the threshold for a tropical storm and well below hurricane strength of 74 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

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However, it was expected to become a tropical storm by Wednesday. The next named storm would be Debby.

Forecasters said the system was expected to head northwest later in the day and long-range forecasts show the storm nearing Bermuda in about a week. It was still too early to tell if it would hit land, senior hurricane specialist James Franklin said.

The government of the Cape Verde islands, 350 miles off the African coast, issued a tropical storm warning Monday. That means that tropical storm conditions were expected in that region over the next 24 hours.

There have been three named storms of the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season.