A tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico is expected to develop into a tropical or subtropical storm by Friday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service in Tampa Bay.
“Potential Tropical Cyclone 16” is currently located off the coast of Mexico and moving on a northeasterly track towards the Florida Panhandle, where it is expected to arrive by Friday evening.
Currently, Manatee County is located outside of the predicted area of impact for tropical storm conditions and storm surge, but gale warnings and high surf advisories are in effect for Manatee County as of Friday morning. A hazardous weather outlook also is in place for Manatee County and much of Florida.
Bradenton, Anna Maria Island and surrounding areas are expected to experience stronger-than-normal wind and some unseasonable rain as a result of the storm.
On Friday, forecasters predict cloudy conditions and a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms throughout the day with winds of 8 to 10 mph.
On Friday night, rain chances jump to 70 percent with showers likely and thunderstorms possible. Winds are predicted to pick up to 14 to 22 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph.
Saturday is also predicted to be overcast and stormy with a rain chance of 70 percent and winds of 24 to 26 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph.
The likelihood of rain and high wind speeds starts to taper off by Saturday night, according to the Weather Service.
Manatee County residents should continue to monitor the storm. Neighboring counties Pinellas and Pasco are currently under a storm surge warning, and the system’s track could shift.
Real time/breaking news reporter Mark Young contributed to this report.