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Tropical Storm Gamma forms, will bring rain to Tampa Bay

The system is the 24th named storm of this busy Atlantic hurricane season.

Tropical Storm Gamma formed on Friday night in the Caribbean Sea, the National Hurricane Center announced in its 8 p.m. advisory.

Gamma doesn’t pose a threat to Tampa Bay beyond bringing some showers to the area, said Spectrum Bay News 9 Meteorologist Brian McClure.

The system is expected to move toward the Yucatan Peninsula on Saturday while slowly strengthening.

McClure said he’s “not too concerned with it in terms of coming at Florida. It doesn’t at this point look too concerning for the U.S. either ...”

But he said Gamma, despite being hundreds of miles away, will result in a wet weekend for the bay area starting Saturday with showers lingering into Sunday.

Tampa Bay will get rain because of strong upper-level winds that will rip apart the top of the storm and push moisture as far north as our region, he said. There will be a 60 percent chance of rain on Saturday and an 80 percent chance on Sunday, with highs around 80.

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The projected path of Tropical Storm Gamma, which formed off the coast of Mexico on Friday, according to the National Hurricane Center. [ National Hurricane Center ]

Gamma, the 24th named storm of this season, was generating maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and was moving 9 mph to the northwest, according to the hurricane center. It was located about 135 miles south-southeast of Cancun, Mexico.

Elsewhere in the Caribbean, a tropical disturbance was given a 40 percent chance of formation in the next five days. It was dropping heavy rains locally late Friday, the hurricane center said, and creating wind gusts that were affecting portions of the Dutch Caribbean, the Lesser Antilles, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

McClure says it is too early to determine the path and future strength of the disturbance. The hurricane center believes it will become a named storm next week while moving westward or west-northwestward around 15 mph across the central and western Caribbean Sea.

There are two tropical systems in the Atlantic region: Tropical Storm Gamma and a tropical disturbance that could also strengthen next week. [ National Hurricane Center ]

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