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Potential Major Hurricane Could Hit Florida Coast

A tropical depression is expected to intensify into a tropical storm before potentially slamming South Florida as a hurricane.

Tropical Depression Nine formed in the Caribbean Friday (Sept. 23) and could strengthen into a hurricane that threatens Florida and other parts of the Southeast United States next week, The Weather Channel reports. If that happens, it will be named either Hermine or Ian depending on how another storm in the Atlantic develops.

Forecasters predict that Tropical Depression Nine will become a tropical storm later Friday and drop heavy rain on Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao, possibly causing flash floods and mudslides. It’s then likely to head toward Jamaica and Cuba before becoming a hurricane and turning toward an area that spans the eastern Gulf of Mexico to near the Florida Peninsula by next Tuesday or Wednesday.

After making landfall, the system will either move inland over the Southeastern U.S. or track along the East Coast late next week, computer models predict.

“It looks like it’s going to end up being a major hurricane,” Will Redman, a spokesperson for the National Weather Service Miami, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. He expects the Florida Panhandle to face the brunt of the storm.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Fiona is tracking toward Canada for what could be the strongest recorded storm to ever hit the country, CNN reports. Fiona, a category 3 storm, is expected to make landfall early Saturday around Nova Scotia, which prompted Canadian officials to issue an emergency alert for the region.

RELATED: Hurricane Fiona Intensifies In Caribbean After Ravishing Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico

Fiona ripped through Puerto Rico Sept. 18 before slamming into the Dominican Republic, triggering widespread flooding, mudslides and power outages on the islands. The catastrophic storm is blamed for at least three deaths – one in the Dominican Republic and two in Puerto Rico.

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