Another storm? Hurricane forecasters up the odds on latest tropical system

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A tropical system moving across the Caribbean has a 40 percent chance of becoming a depression in the next two days, but is not expected to near the Florida coast.

In their morning advisory, National Hurricane Center forecasters said the system became better organized overnight Monday, producing tropical storm-force wind gusts. The system is located about 175 miles north-northeast of the Turks and Caicos, which took a hit from Hurricane Irma last month.

The storm still has no eye, but could intensify as it encounters weak wind shear over the next 48 hours, forecasters said. By late Wednesday, however, the system is expected to merge with a front and face stronger wind shear as it curves to the east, well off the U.S. coast.

The system comes on the heels of a record-breaking season that saw more accumulated cyclone energy — meaning more intense hurricanes for longer — in September than any month on record. Last week, Ophelia became the 10th consecutive hurricane this year, tying a record last set in the late 1800s.

Ophelia also became a rare storm to track east across the Atlantic and strike Ireland Monday.

The Irish Times reported Monday that the storm had knocked out power to 120,000 as the storm lashed the southern half of the island with gusts exceeding 74 mph.

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