The tropical wave swirling off the coast of Florida slowed overnight and remained disorganized, hurricane forecasters said early Friday.
Located east of Cuba and north to the Bahamas, the messy storm was dumping water on the region as it moved about 10 mph at 8 a.m. Friday, the National Hurricane Center reported. Forecasters gave the system a mere 20 percent of becoming a tropical storm in the next two days. Odds of it becoming a storm when it nears Florida are 60 percent, forecasters said.
The latest forecast models have shifted the storm south, with most tracks clearing the mainland and swinging into the Gulf of Mexico. Forecasters warn that while the storm is now encountering unfavorable conditions, that could change as it moves across warm water and low wind shear early next week.
A hurricane hunter plane is scheduled to investigate the storm Friday morning.
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Even if the storm remains a messy tangle of thunderstorms, forecasters warn Hispaniola and central Cuba could get hit today with heavy rains that could trigger dangerous flash floods and mudslides. The Bahamas are likely see gusty winds and heavy rainfall, with Florida and the Keys seeing the same miserable weather over the weekend.
Forecasters also began tracking another disturbance in the northern Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Texas and Louisiana early Friday. However they gave the storm very little chance of becoming a tropical storm — just 10 percent — before it arrives in Texas.
Out in the Atlantic, more than 1,000 east of the Leeward Islands, Tropical Storm Gaston continued to trek northwestward, but will likely take a turn to the east and remain far from the U.S. coast. Over the next 48 hours, forecasters say the storm will likely regain strength as it slows down.
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