Hurricane Larry continues to strengthen, could become major hurricane by Friday night

Hurricane Larry continues to draw in power, predicted to be major hurricane Saturday

Hurricane Larry is powering up Friday morning, and it’s expected to charge into major storm territory by Saturday.

The 12th named storm of the year has 90 mph maximum winds and is cruising through the mid Atlantic at 20 mph, the NHC said in its 5 a.m. update. Larry is 970 miles from the Cabo Verde Islands.

No coastal watches or warnings have been issued at this time, but the NHC warns the Lesser Antilles could experience large swells and rip current conditions on Sunday.

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center previously put the chances for an above-normal season at 30%. That is now up to 45% in the latest outlook.

The likelihood of near-normal activity is now at 35%, and the chance of below-normal activity has dropped to 20%, forecasters said.

The number of predicted storms is also greater with NOAA now expecting 10-17 named storms. Five to nine of those are forecast to become hurricanes.

“Which should prevent rapid intensification,” the hurricane center said.

The first is a surface trough, or low pressure system, over the Gulf of Honduras and portions of Central America. The trough is producing disorganized thunderstorms and is expected to move west-northwest over Central America and the Yucatan Peninsula. Not much growth is expected for this system thanks to some strong upper-level winds. The NHC gives this system a 20% chance of becoming a tropical depression by Wednesday.

The next two storm names on the World Meteorological Organization’s list are Mindy and Nicholas.

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