Miami, Fl.(Florida News Network)- At 5:00 pm EDT, Potential Tropical Cyclone Sixteen was centered near latitude 22.9 North, longitude 95.2 West. The system is moving toward the north-northeast near 9 mph. It's about 570 miles southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River.
A turn toward the northeast is expected tonight, and a northeastward motion at a faster forward speed is expected on Friday and Saturday. On the forecast track, the system will approach the northern Gulf Coast Friday and Friday night and then move over portions of the southeastern United States on Saturday.
Recent satellite wind data indicates that maximum sustained winds are now near 40 mph with higher gusts. The disturbance is expected to develop into a tropical or subtropical storm later tonight or on Friday, with slow strengthening then expected through Friday night.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...high...90 percent
* Formation chance through 5 days...high...90 percent
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles mainly to the southwest of the center.
The estimated minimum central pressure is 1005 mb (29.68 inches).
The Tropical Storm Warning along the Florida coast has been extended eastward to the Aucilla River.
The Storm Surge Watch has been changed to a Storm Surge Warning from Indian Pass, Florida to Clearwater Beach, Florida.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...
* Mississippi/Alabama border to Aucilla River Florida
* Grand Isle Louisiana to the Mouth of the Pearl River
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for...
* East of Aucilla River to Yankeetown Florida
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for...
* Indian Pass Florida to Clearwater Beach Florida
Graphic credit: National Hurricane Center