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Forecasters Watching Tropics as Storm Gathers Near Caribbean

Forecasters are keeping an eye on a tropical weather system nearing the Caribbean that could threaten the United States next week. The National Hurricane Center plans to send its “hurricane hunter” aircraft to check it out Thursday and determine whether the system qualifies as a tropical depression.

The system is expected to bring wind and rain to the Lesser Antilles on Thursday and then to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Forecasters caution that it is far too early to determine how strong the storm system might become or pinpoint the threat to the United States. If it eventually becomes a tropical storm, it will be named Cristobal, just the third named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.

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— Erin McClam