MIAMI (CBSMiami) – After a busy start to the 2021 hurricane season, we’re now getting ready for our fifth named storm.

Tropical Depression 5 formed Wednesday night, with the center of the system was about 1020 miles east of the Windward Islands.

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The depression is moving toward the west near 23 mph. An even faster motion to the west-northwest is expected over the next 24 to 36 hours.

On the forecast track, the system will pass near or over portions of the Windward Islands or the southern Leeward Islands on Friday, move into the eastern Caribbean Sea late Friday and Friday night, and move near the southern coast of Hispaniola on Saturday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph with higher gusts.

Strengthening is forecast and the tropical depression is expected to become a tropical storm early Thursday.

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A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • Barbados
  • Martinique
  • Lucia

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:

  • Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Guadeloupe

Interests elsewhere in the Windward Islands, Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti should monitor the progress of this system. Warnings and additional watches will likely be required Wednesday night and on Thursday.

Tropical-storm conditions are expected in portions of the Windward and southern Leeward Islands within the warning area beginning late Thursday night into Friday. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch area beginning late Thursday night into Friday.

The system will produce rainfall totals of 3 to 6 inches with maximum totals of 8 inches on Friday across the Windward and southern Leeward Islands, including Barbados. This rain may produce isolated flash flooding and mudslides.

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Elsa would be the earliest fifth named storm on record.