TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tropical Storm Tammy strengthened into a hurricane near the Caribbean Friday morning, the National Hurricane Center said.

According to the latest forecast, Tammy’s maximum sustained winds are near 80 mph. The storm is located about 55 miles east of Martinique and is heading west-northwest at 9 mph.

Heavy rains will impact the Leeward and northern Windward Islands Friday night into Saturday. They could reach Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands as early as Sunday, according to NHC forecasters.

Extended forecasts show Tammy turning northeast starting Saturday. The storm will not directly impact the mainland United States.

The NHC has issued hurricane warnings for the following areas:

  • Guadeloupe
  • Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis
  • St. Marteen
  • St. Martin and St. Barthelemy

The NHC has issued hurricane watches and tropical storm warnings for the following areas:

  • Dominica
  • Saba and St. Eustatius

The NHC has issued tropical storm watches for the following areas:

  • Barbados
  • Martinique

The National Hurricane Center is also monitoring a group of disorganized showers and thunderstorms off the coast of Central America.

Forecasters believe the disturbance could gradually develop as it moves slowly westward over the southwestern Caribbean Sea. It is expected to lose strength after reaching land.

The disturbance has a 10% chance of developing in the next two days and a 20% chance of developing in the next week.

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