Tropical depression to strengthen in Gulf as Tropical Storm Paulette intensifies

Weather

Tropical Depression Nineteen was just off the coast of South Florida early Saturday but is expected to move into the Gulf of Mexico and strengthen into a tropical storm. (Photo courtesy of U.S. National Hurricane Center)

MIAMI (AP) — Tropical Depression Nineteen was just off the coast of South Florida early Saturday but is expected to move into the Gulf of Mexico and strengthen into a tropical storm, while Tropical Storm Paulette was expected to intensify into a hurricane.

The depression was located 35 miles west-southwest of Miami, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in its 5 a.m. advisory. It was moving to the west at 9 mph with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph.

Nineteen was forecast to slide into the Gulf and could become a tropical storm later Saturday or early Sunday. The depression is currently expected to bring 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimeters) of rain to parts of Florida, with isolated totals up to 6 inches (15 centimeters).

(U.S. National Hurricane Center)

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Paulette had maximum sustained winds at 70 mph and was 645 miles southeast of Bermuda, where a hurricane watch and tropical storm warning are in effect. Forecasters said Paulette would become a hurricane later Saturday and drop up to 6 inches of rain on the territory through Monday.

Tropical Storm Rene was weaker with maximum sustained winds at 40 mph and was 1,300 miles east-northeast of the Northern Leeward Islands. Forecasters said Rene wasn’t expected to strengthen and did not pose any threat to land.

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