Storm expected to enter gulf, grow to near hurricane strength early next week
A tropical storm watch was issued for portions of Florida Friday as a tropical depression is forecast to cross Florida and enter the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend.
Tropical Depression 19 was located in the Atlantic Ocean, just east of the Florida coast.
Forecasters with the National Hurricane Center predict the storm will cross over the southern tip of Florida Saturday afternoon before entering the Gulf of Mexico.
Currently, the forecasted track puts the storm making landfall somewhere between the Louisiana and Alabama Gulf Coasts as a near hurricane-force tropical storm.
Forecasters currently believe the warm waters of the gulf may allow the storm to strengthen to perhaps have maximum sustained winds of approximately 70 mph.