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Tropical Storm Irma forms in Atlantic, bears watching in South Florida

Irma expected to strengthen, could become hurricane by Friday

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Tropical Storm Irma formed Wednesday morning in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean and the Local 10 Weather team says this system bears watching in South Florida.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said that as of 5 p.m. Irma was moving west at 15 mph with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph.

Irma was located off the coast of Africa, about 480 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands.

Local 10 Hurricane Specialist Max Mayfield believes this storm is special as it has already developed well out in the Atlantic.

"You can see a nice tropical cyclone that is already formed, and that's not going to go away anytime soon," Mayfield said.

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The storm is forecast to strengthen in the next 48 hours and could become a hurricane by Friday. Models show the system located near the Leeward Islands on Wednesday afternoon.

However, the models differ on how far north the storm will turn once it reaches the Leeward Islands.

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"I can’t tell you right now whether it's going to turn up to the north or keep coming this way, but this is definitely one we need to keep an eye on for later in the Bahamas and South Florida," Mayfield said.

Be sure to download the Local 10 Hurricane Survival Guide to keep you safe before, during and after a storm. 

Remember to stay up to date on the all the latest storm news by downloading the Max Tracker app for iOS and ANDROID.