Tropical Storm Grace forms

    Tropical Storm Grace formed last night and will remain in the open Atlantic Ocean through at least next Friday, according to the National Hurricane Center. 

    At 5:00 a.m AST, Grace is located in the open Atlantic Ocean about 390 miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands, packing maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour and higher gusts, according to a National Hurricane Center bulletin. 

    The tropical storm is currently moving westward near 13 miles per hour, according to the bulletin. Forecasters expect this general motion with a slight increase in speed to continue through Monday night. 

    According to the center’s forecast, Grace will approach the Leeward Islands by Friday night.

    Forecasters expect additional strengthening for the next 36 to 48 hours as the system moves over an area with favorable atmospheric conditions. But by early next week, Grace will face a more hostile environment, inducing some weakening.

    Although there is no immediate threat to any land mass, anyone traveling in the eastern Caribbean next weekend shortly should monitor all official forecasts. 

    The peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is on Sept. 10, which is the day when historically the maximum amount of convection and minimal amount of shear are found in the Atlantic basin, leading to the best chance of tropical system development.

    With the season’s peak approaching, forecasters advise coastal residents to have a plan should a tropical system threaten or strike. 

    The 2015 hurricane season ends on Nov. 30.  

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