A tropical depression that morphed late Friday into Tropical Storm Humberto was nearing the hurricane-ravaged Bahamas early Saturday, the National Hurricane Center said.
As the island nation continues to dig out from that calamity, it had to prepare for what could another.
The storm was located about 30 miles east-northeast of the country's northern Abaco Islands by 8 a.m. ET Saturday, the National Hurricane Center said. Bringing maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, the storm was moving northwest at 6 mph and expected to turn away from the islands by late Saturday.
Grand Bahama, the Abaco Islands and the Berry Islands were under a tropical storm warning Friday night, the Bahamian Department of Meteorology said in a statement. About 2-4 inches of rain could be expected with some isolated showers pushing 6 inches, it said.
The system appears to be moving east of Florida, out to the Atlantic, but forecasters are still warning people along the East Coast of the United States to pay attention to forecasts and warnings, said Dennis Feltgen, spokesman for the National Hurricane Center.
"The models trend it more to the east, which is good," Feltgen said. "At this point we’re not calling for landfall on the U.S. coast."
The center expects the storm to develop into a full-on hurricane, perhaps in the next five days, he said. Bermuda could be in play, but it's too soon to tell, Feltgen said. A hurricane has maximum sustained surface winds of 74 mph or greater.
The storm's wind and rain won't help relief efforts underway in the Bahamas.
On Friday Chef Jose Andrés tweeted that his nonprofit World Central Kitchen has been in the Bahamas for 12 days and served 200,000 meals. He said the organization has stocked up on food because flying probably won't be advisable Saturday.
"A storm coming over Bahamas," he said in an attached video message. "The only good thing is that people, they are safe in shelters. Hopefully it will be not so bad."