Tropical Depression Eighteen is moving west at 15 mph with maximum sustained winds at 35 mph. A gradual turn to the west-northwest is expected by Friday. The environment ahead of the tropical depression appears quite favorable for intensification. The winds are light aloft and the sea surface temperatures are the warmest they have been all season.
Overnight, TD 18 will strengthen and become a tropical storm, receiving the name Sam. Once the low level circulation becomes more vertically aligned a period of rapid intensification is likely and this storm will become a hurricane by the weekend and possibly reach major hurricane strength by Monday.
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