Tracking the Tropics: System has 70% chance of developing in or near Gulf of Mexico

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The National Hurricane Center is keeping a close eye on a broad area of low pressure that could move closer to Florida and develop in the coming days.

The area is just west of Grand Cayman Island and, according to NHC forecasters, is gradually becoming better defined.

“Environmental conditions appear conducive for further development, and a tropical depression will likely form during the next day or two while the low drifts toward the northwest,” the NHC said.

The NHC has given the system a high 70 percent chance of formation through the next 48 hours.

The latest outlook from the NHC says the system could move near western Cuba by Sunday and move slowly across the southeastern Gulf of Mexico by early next week.

In a forecast discussion posted Friday, the NHC said regardless of development, the system could bring locally-heavy rain to parts of the Cayman Islands, Cuba, southern Florida, the Keys and the northwestern Bahamas through this weekend.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic basin, Hurricane Epsilon is churning north of Bermuda as a Category 1 storm. It’s forecast to bring dangerous surf and rip currents along the U.S. East Coast.

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