Tropical Storm Ramon is tracking north and could hit the U.S. Gulf Coast as a hurricane in the next four to five days, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).
Ramon could reach hurricane strength by Sunday while it moves over the Gulf of Mexico, forecasters warn. Current projections show Ramon hitting the Florida panhandle before weakening back to a tropical depression.
Ramon could end up being the second hurricane to make landfall in Florida this season, though forecasters don’t expect the storm to become a major hurricane.
Florida is still recovering from the damage caused by Hurricane Irma, which hit in September. Irma came after Hurricane Harvey battered southeastern Texas, breaking a 12-year streak of no major hurricanes making U.S. landfall. Hurricane Maria followed Irma, slamming into Puerto Rico.
NHC says that Ramon currently has maximum sustained winds of 45 mph and a minimum central pressure of 1002 millibars.
Ramon is moving toward the west-northwest near 7 mph (11 km/h), and “a general westward motion with some increase in forward speed is expected over the next couple of days,” reads NHC’s latest bulletin.
Ramon’s center “is expected to move parallel to, but remain offshore of, the coast of southern Mexico,” NHC forecasts.
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