The storm currently is churning in the Atlantic and could become a hurricane as early as Tuesday. NBC's Brian Williams reports.
A tropical storm cutting a westward path across the Atlantic is poised to become a hurricane within one day — which would make it the first Atlantic hurricane of the 2013 season.
Tropical Storm Humberto’s maximum sustained winds climbed to 60 mph by 11 p.m. ET Monday, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. It may become a full-fledged hurricane Tuesday, the center said.
The tempest was about 120 miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands off the west coast of Africa late Monday but was hurtling farther away from that area, prompting officials to suspend a tropical storm advisory, according to the AP.
Before sweeping past Cape Verde, Humberto battered the southernmost flank of the islands with hard rain and wind gusts.
No coastal watches or warnings are currently in effect over the region, the hurricane center said. Humberto is not forecast to pose any significant threat to land, according to the center.
So far this season, no major hurricanes have cropped up in the Atlantic basin — a division that encompasses the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Humberto is the eighth tropical storm of the season, which kicked off June 1 and is slated to run through Nov. 30.
Experts said the first hurricane of the season usually forms by Aug. 10. Since the dawn of the satellite era in the mid-1960s, the latest date for the first hurricane to arrive was set in 2002 when Hurricane Gustav formed on Sept. 11.
If Humberto achieves hurricane status any time after 8 a.m. ET on Wednesday, it would replace Gustav as the modern-day record holder, forecasters said.
All three previous storms named Humberto — in 1995, 2001 and 2007 — ultimately became hurricanes, according to The Weather Channel. The 2007 cyclone evolved from a tropical depression to a hurricane in 19 hours before slamming southeast Texas.
Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Tropical Storm Humberto off the African coast. This image was taken by METEOSAT-10 at 1730Z on Sept. 9.
This story was originally published on Mon Sep 9, 2013 10:49 PM EDT