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Soon-To-Be Hurricane Headed to Gulf By Late Sunday; 2 Tropical Depressions Likely To Form

National Hurricane Center

A tropical depression formed in the Caribbean on Thursday morning, forecasters said, and it could strengthen into a major hurricane once it reaches the northern Gulf of Mexico this weekend.

Tropical Depression 9 is anticipated to be a threat to Louisiana and the Gulf Coast region on Sunday, though its landfall location is still uncertain.

The National Hurricane Center also began issuing warnings associated with the depression in the Caribbean. If it strengthens into a hurricane, it will be named Ida.

Two more systems in the Atlantic were also being monitored by NHC forecasters as of Thursday afternoon. Here’s what we know so far about the tropics:

Tropical Depression 9

Forecasters said the tropical depression formed around 1 p.m. Thursday in the west-central Caribbean Sea, 95 miles southwest of Negril, Jamaica, and 165 miles southeast of Grand Cayman.

The storm, with sustained winds of 35 mph, was moving northwest at 13 mph, a motion forecasters said it will make for the next few days as it treks over the Cayman Islands to Western Cuba on Friday.

NHC said the system is expected to reach the central Gulf of Mexico by late Friday or early Saturday.

It will likely form into a tropical storm by Thursday night, NHC said, and could even reach near major hurricane strength before it reaches the Gulf states on Sunday.

Watches, Warnings and Weather To Expect

After the Caribbean system was declared a tropical depression, forecasters issued tropical storm warnings ahead of its likely tropical storm status.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • Cayman Islands
  • Cuban provinces of Matanzas, Mayabeque, Havana, Artemisa, Pinar del Rio and the Isle of Youth

These area’s in the storm’s path could see up to 20 inches of rain, which could bring dangerous flash floods and mudslides.

Forecasters said the U.S. Gulf Coast could see rainfall from the storm beginning early Sunday but have not yet released more specific severe weather estimates.

Other Disturbances To Watch

Two disturbances producing disorganized storms are being monitored in the Atlantic Ocean, both with high development chances over the next five days.

Both are also forecast to become tropical depressions this weekend.

One of those systems was moving across the central Atlantic 600 miles east of Bermuda. After the storm slowly crawls east, NHC said the low pressure system is expected to pick up pace as it heads northeast.

The other was located between the Cabo Verde Islands and the Lesser Antilles. It will trek west northwest or northwest at about 10 to 15 mph before turning north early next week.

For more information on the tropical depression and other disturbances monitored by NHC, click here.

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Katelyn Umholtz