Severe Weather Blog

Hurricane season’s not over yet: late season system strengthening in the Caribbean

Don’t sigh yet. A storm churning deep in the southwest Caribbean is threatening to strengthen to a tropical depression by the end of the week.

The late season system has an 80 percent chance of becoming a depression by Sunday or over the weekend as it moves into an area likely to cause the storm to slowly strengthen, National Hurricane Center forecasters said Tuesday morning. The wave is moving northward and to the northeast off the coast of Colombia.

If the storm strengthens, it would become the 16th tropical depression in the deadliest Atlantic season since 2005. In late September, Hurricane Matthew became a powerful Cat 5 storm, barreling up the Caribbean and causing more than 1,600 deaths, mostly in Haiti.

So far, the 2016 season has generated 15 tropical depressions, with six hurricanes and three major hurricanes reaching Cat 3 intensity.

Follow Jenny Staletovich on Twitter @jenstaletovich