Tropical depression off south Florida forecast to strengthen

Hurricane Center

MIAMI (AP) — A tropical depression that is forecast to reach near hurricane intensity early next week has formed off south Florida.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Tropical Depression 19 formed Friday and is centered about 50 miles east-southeast of Miami with top sustained winds of 35 mph.

Forecasters say the system could become a tropical storm before it moves inland over South Florida early Saturday.

It is expected to reach tropical storm status by Sunday and could approach near-hurricane strength in coming days heading into the Gulf of Mexico.

People from the Florida Panhandle to southeastern Louisiana are urged to keep watch on the storm.

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