Hurricane Center: Highly likely depression forms in Gulf this weekend

NEW ORLEANS — The National Hurricane Center says there’s a 70 percent chance that a depression will form in the Gulf of Mexico this holiday weekend.

A broad area of low pressure continues to become better organized in the Caribbean Sea, and while development is unlikely in the next two days, chances have improved that it could acquire tropical characteristics once it enters the Gulf of Mexico later this week.

The chances of tropical development are near 10% through the next 48 hours and 70% through the next 5 days.

At this time, it appears the heaviest rains from this system will affect the Mississippi Coast eastward into the Big Bend of Florida, with widespread amounts greater than six inches possible through Memorial Day.

Currently situated off the coast of Belize, the low is producing widespread cloudiness and rain throughout Cuba and up the Florida Peninsula. As conditions become more favorable for development in the Gulf, we should get a better idea to the track of the system as it slowly pushes north.

Even if the disturbance doesn’t become tropical, the threat of widespread, heavy rain and possible flooding will accompany the system, particularly to its east.

The system is becoming better organized off the Belize coast