Weather alert: Chances improve tropical depression will form in Gulf of Mexico

October 2, 2013 

The tropics at 2 p.m. EDT Wednesday. National Hurricane Center.

Chances are improving that an area of low pressure moving towards the Gulf of Mexico will turn into a tropical storm or hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center.

As of 2 p.m. EDT, an area of showers and thunderstorms in the northwestern Caribbean had become better organized, "and the system has the potential to develop into a tropical depression at any time during the next day or two," the Hurricane Center said.

The low is expected to move northwestward to north-northwestward near or over the Yucatan Peninsula later Wednesday, and into the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday night or Thursday.

Forecasters said there is a 70 percent chance the system will develop into a cyclone during the next 48 hours, and 70 percent during the next five days.

"Strong upper-level winds are likely to limit development as the system approach the northern Gulf of Mexico by the weekend," the Hurricane Center said.

Tropical Storm Jerry is drifting westward in the Atlantic with little change in strength.

The storm's maximum sustained winds early Wednesday are near 40 mph (65 kph).

The storm is centered about 1,275 miles (2,050 kilometers) east of Bermuda and is moving west near 1 mph (2 kph).

The storm isn't currently threatening any land.

Jerry is the 10th tropical storm of the Atlantic season.

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