Tropical storm likely to form and hit U.S. coast - hurricane center

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But tropical storm watches and warnings have already been issued for portions of the Gulf Coast.

Forecasters say the system will approach the Louisiana coast by Wednesday, with some strengthening possible.

A Tropical Storm Warning is now in effect from High Island, Texas to the Mouth of the Pearl River. A tropical storm watch is in effect for the Dutch Caribbean islands of Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba. If that tropical depression strengthens into the tropical storm, it would be named using the next name on that year's list of names.

Here are live updates about the storm and what it means for New Orleans and Southeast Louisiana. Flooding will be possible in the Panhandle of Florida, Shields said.

'It will be important to focus not necessarily on the exact track, as strong winds high in the atmosphere will pull shower and thunderstorm activity well away from the low center, ' explained AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

12 inches, over southeastern Louisiana, southern MS, southern Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle through Thursday.

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Tropical Storm Bret, which was named Monday afternoon near the Windward Islands, has crossed into the eastern Caribbean Sea after making landfall on Trinidad and Tobago on Monday night.

The heaviest rainfall from the storm is expected east of the storm's path.

In the Gulf of Mexico, a sprawling storm that rolled off the Yucatan Peninsula last week continued to intensify and become better formed, forecasters said. It's maximum sustained winds are at 40 miles per hour (65 kph) and the storm is moving toward the northwest at 10 miles per hour (17 kph).

Gulf Coast states are preparing for a powerful weather system of their own.

The system is moving toward the northwest near 10 miles per hour and this motion is expected to continue through Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Bret is moving along South America's northern coast.