(RNN) – Tropical Storm Matthew became the 13th named storm of the season, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Matthew is moving west at 15 mph with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph. The storm is located about 370 miles south-southeast of Puerto Rico and 410 miles east-northeast of Curacao in the Caribbean Sea.
Tropical storm watches were issued for Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba, meaning tropical storm conditions are possible in these areas within the next 36 to 48 hours. Tropical storm warnings are also in effect for Dominica, St. Vincent, the Grenadine Islands, St. Lucia and the French Islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique.
The National Hurricane Center advises people along the coasts of Venezuela and Colombia to keep their eyes on Matthew.
Forecasters expect the storm to continue on this path and say tropical-storm-force winds and heavy rains will spread across the southern Leeward Islands and northern Windward Islands, which may produce flash floods and mud slides.
Tropical Storm Matthew is expected to strengthen over time and is forecast to become a hurricane by Thursday night or Friday. Forecasters say the storm may turn toward the northwest and head toward Jamaica and Cuba over the weekend.
The National Hurricane Center said it is too early to determine what impact the tropical storm will have on the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
The last hurricane to hit the U.S. was Hurricane Hermine, which caused flooding, property damage and at least three deaths along the East Coast, as both a hurricane and a tropical storm.
The southeastern U.S. also saw heavy rain from Tropical Storm Julia, the 10th named storm of the season.