A tropical storm could develop over the Gulf of Mexico this weekend

Current tropics outlook

Current tropics outlook

For now, the Storm Team acknowledges a chance that it could become a tropical depression, but strengthening into a tropical storm seems unlikely.

Several forecasters predicted an above-average Atlantic hurricane season, and have been proven right, with multiple named storms being their earliest of their letter on record.

The storm name list ends with Wilfred, and forecasters might be forced to go to the Greek alphabet for storm names.

The low-pressure system is expected to enter the Gulf of Mexico by early Saturday and could strengthen to "near hurricane" intensity by the time it reaches the northern Gulf Coast.

The system has an 80% chance of forming into at least a tropical depression over the next five days, the National Hurricane Center says. Its maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 65 km/h, with higher gusts.

It was moving to the west at 9 miles per hour (15 kph) with maximum sustained winds of 35 miles per hour (55 kph). Hurricane-force winds begin at 74 miles per hour.

The NHC is advising persons with interest in Bermuda to monitor Tropical Storm Paulette.

Swells generated by Paulette are affecting portions of the Leeward Islands and will continue to spread westward to portions of the Greater Antilles, Bahamas, Bermuda, and the southeastern United States this weekend.

Then there's Tropical Storm Rene, which hasn't changed in strength and won't affect land.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Paulette had maximum sustained winds at 70 mph (110 kph) and was 645 miles (1,040 kilometers) southeast of Bermuda, where a hurricane watch and tropical storm warning are in effect.

Tropical Storms Paulette and Rene are no threat to us and are expected to turn north and out into the sea. While some restrengthening is forecast during the next day or two, weakening is expected to begin by Sunday night.

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