Hurricane Teddy, now located in the Atlantic Ocean, became a Category 2 hurricane early Thursday and is expected to strengthen into a major hurricane by Friday, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
Located about 625 miles (1,010 km) east to northeast of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Sea, Hurricane Teddy is now a Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph (165 km/h), according to an advisory by the NHC issued Thursday at 4:00 a.m. Atlantic Standard Time (0900 GMT).
As Teddy continued to move toward the northwest, “additional strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days, and Teddy could become a major hurricane Thursday night or Friday,” the NHC said, adding that large swells generated by the hurricane could reach the East Coast of the United States by the weekend. Coastal watches or warnings, however, have not been issued yet.
According to the five-tier Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale, hurricanes of Category 3 or stronger — with maximum sustained winds of 111 mph (178 km/h) or higher — are deemed major hurricanes.
The development of Teddy came on the heels of Hurricane Sally blowing ashore the Gulf Coast as a Category 2 hurricane early Wednesday, bringing torrential rains in the states of Alabama and Florida, with at least one reported death and one missing in Orange Beach, Florida.
Sally’s torrential rains and howling winds left over 510,000 customers without power in the two states early Thursday. The outages had forced cities such as Mobile, Alabama to set night curfews.
In its final advisory regarding Sally on Thursday morning, the NHC said the storm weakened into a tropical depression with additional weakening being forecast, but it was still producing torrential rains over eastern Alabama and western and central Georgia.