ORLANDO, Fla. - Hurricane Larry is slowly strengthening and is expected to become a monster storm this weekend.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Larry was located about 1,200 miles east of the Leeward Islands late Friday, packing maximum sustained winds of 115 mph as a powerful Category 3 storm.
Larry is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph.
While the storm is not expected to be any direct threat to the United States., the FOX 35 Storm Team said it could indirectly have an effect on our beaches.
"Significant swells will likely reach the easternUnited States coastline after Labor Day. These swells are likely tocause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions," the NHC said.
Larry is our 12th named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.
Additional strengthening isexpected over the next day or two, and Larry will remainat major hurricane strength through the early part of next week.
Meanwhile, the FOX 35 Storm Team is tracking an area that could develop in the Western Gulf of Mexico next week.
A surface trough over Central America is producing disorganized shower and thunderstorm activity.
"The disturbance is expected to move over the southwestern or south-central Gulf of Mexico late this weekend, and then move generally northward over the western or central Gulf of Mexico early next week.," the NHC said.
The system has a low chance of development at 30% over the next five days, "but environmental conditions could become marginally favorable for some gradual development by Tuesday or Wednesday."
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says that September is the most hurricane-prone month, with as many major hurricane landfalls as August and October combined. Texas and Louisiana are "prime targets" for pre-August major hurricanes, the agency said.
Comparatively, most major October hurricanes occur in southern Florida. To date, Florida has been hit by about 120 recorded hurricanes, but has been spared so far in 2021.
Hurricane season runs through November 30.
Watch FOX 35 News for the latest updates throughout hurricane season.