NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - Tropical Depression Nine continues to meander in the Gulf of Mexico with it's movement officially at 2 mph to the north. The depression is located 405 miles SSW of Apalachicola, Florida. Winds are at 35 mph as of 4 am CDT. The depression is expected to finally make that turn to the northeast later today before making landfall along Florida's Big Bend late Thursday into Friday. Tropical storm warnings are in effect for the Florida Gulf Coast from Walton County on the panhandle down to just north of the Tampa/St. Petersburg area. A hurricane watch is in effect from Apalachicola down to just north of the Tampa area. Jacksonville, FL, Savannah, GA and the North and South Carolina Coastlines can expect heavy rains and possible flooding as the storm moves across their areas heading into the weekend. Once it reenters the Atlantic, its possible the system could strengthen into a hurricane so further watches and warnings may be needed along the Atlantic coast.
As for our area, the depression is using most available moisture so expect dry and hot conditions to persist into the weekend. Highs in the middle 90s through Friday and low 90s Saturday through early next week. We are expected to stay dry through Saturday with a 10% chance of a shower or storm Sunday and a 30% chance for your Labor Day Monday. Overall, it looks a nice holiday weekend ahead.