HOLT, Fla., Oct. 4, 2017, 3 p.m.—The National Hurricane Center upgraded the tropical wave off the coast of Central America as a tropical depression.
Tropical Depression 16 is expected to become a tropical storm later today or tonight, according to the NHC. Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph with higher gusts.
Conditions are favorable for this system to intensify, according to the NHC. The system may interact with Nicaragua in the next 24-to-36 hours, but can strengthen as the storm moves into the northwestern Caribbean.
Moving toward the northwest near 7 mph, the depression should be near the coast of Nicaragua early Thursday, move across northeastern Nicaragua and eastern Honduras late Thursday, emerge into the northwestern Caribbean Sea Friday and be over the Gulf of Mexico Saturday.
The system is likely to rapidly intensify once it moves over the warm and deep waters of the northwestern Caribbean and southern Gulf of Mexico, and could affect portions of the northern Gulf Coast as a hurricane this weekend, with direct impacts from wind, storm surge and heavy rainfall.
It is too early to determine the time, place or magnitude of the storm. The NHC advises residents along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Florida to continue to monitor the system for the next several days.