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Tropical depression 18, which has formed in the eastern Atlantic and is projected to develop into a tropical storm by Thursday, could be near hurricane intensity by the weekend, according to the US National Hurricane Center.
The system, which is located 2,030 miles east-southeast of the northern Leeward Islands, is moving toward the west near 15 mph and does not pose a threat to the Cayman Islands at this time.
The NHC, in its advisory Wednesday evening on the system, said the westward motion is expected to continue for the next day or so followed by a gradual turn to the west-northwest by Friday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph, with higher gusts and strengthening forecast over the next several days.
If formed, the storm will be named Sam, which is the next up on the Atlantic hurricane season list.
Currently, there are two systems, Peter and Rose, swirling in the Atlantic basin, but they are both degenerating.