Tropical Storm Noel May Reach Hurricane Strength

The 14th named storm in the Atlantic this hurricane season, Tropical Storm Noel has already claimed eight lives due to flooding, reports Dominican Republic authorities.

Currently, the storm is located near Port Au Prince, Haiti. Experts fear the storm will cause extreme flooding in Hispaniola.

With winds extending 140 miles from the center of the storm, wind speeds have decreased to 45 mph, and the storm is traveling 15 mph in a northwesterly direction. Weather specialists expect Noel to increase in strength once it is in open water again.

Tropical storm and hurricane warnings have been recommended or issued for parts of the Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Haiti, Jamaica and Cuba.

Additionally, authorities warn that the storm may cause rough surf and coastal flooding to hit South Florida, the Florida Keys and southeast U.S.

Currently traveling in a north/northwesterly direction, reports that Tropical storm Noel will turn northeast because of an upper-level trough.