Storm in the Gulf could become hurricane by the weekend

The National Hurricane Center is keeping an eye on a disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico that is making its way toward Louisiana and East Texas.

The system is moving west-southwest near 8 mph and is expected to become a tropical storm by Thursday night, a hurricane on Friday and approach the Gulf Coast this weekend.

At 10 a.m. Wednesday, the storm is centered near latitude 28.5 north and 86.4 west.

Forecasters say maximum sustained winds are near 30 mph with higher gusts and they predict the storm will strengthen over the next three days.

A storm surge watch has been issued from the mouth of the Pearl River to Morgan City, Louisiana and a tropical storm watch has been issued from the mouth of the Mississippi River to Morgan City, Louisiana.

Interests elsewhere along the U.S. Gulf Coast from the Upper Texas Coast to the Florida Panhandle should monitor the progress of this system.