The third named storm of the 2021 hurricane season could form as soon as Friday, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Governmental forecasters believe an area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico is poised to become a tropical storm. The cluster of storms is expected to slowly move north Wednesday and Thursday before entering open water and organizing into a tropical depression.
The hurricane center has given the system a 70 percent chance of formation over the next two days and a 90 percent chance over the next five.
If the system reaches the 39 mph sustained winds needed to become a tropical storm, as is expected, it would become Claudette.
Claudette does not post an imminent threat to Florida. It is expected to bring heavy rains to Louisiana and East Texas on Friday.
Meteorologists say that showers will strengthen some on Wednesday and Thursday as the storm remains close to land.
An Air Force Reserve Unit reconnaissance aircraft is scheduled to investigate the area on Thursday. From there, scientists will have more information about the system and its future.
Colorado State University predicts there will be 17 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes in 2021. Claudette would be the third storm to form overall and the second in the month of June, which had Tropical Storm Bill form and dissipate within a 24-hour span on Tuesday.
The next named storms of the season will be called Danny and Elsa.
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