An area of disturbed weather over the southwest Gulf of Mexico is forecast to strengthen over the warm waters, potentially impacting the northern Gulf Coast of the U.S. as a tropical storm by the weekend, according to forecasters.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami said Thursday (Oct. 17) the system, known as Potential Tropical Cyclone 16, was located about 600 miles southwest of the mouth of Mississippi River with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph, moving north at 7 mph.

“The disturbance is expected to develop into a tropical or subtropical storm later today or tonight, with slow strengthening then expected through Friday night,” according to the agency.

The NHC gives the storm a 90% chance of forming into a tropical storm over the next 48 hours. If the weather system strengthens into a tropical storm it would have the name “Nestor.”

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