Hurricane

Tropical Storm Olga forms in the Gulf with no threat to Florida

Tropical Storm Olga formed in the Gulf of Mexico Friday with a predicted path pointed toward the northern Gulf coast over the weekend. At this time, it poses no threat to Florida.

According to the 5 p.m. update from the National Hurricane Center, Olga has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and is headed north-northeast at 18 mph. No tropical storm watches or warnings are in effect.

After strengthening, forecasters predicted the storm could merge with a cold front and become a post-tropical low before it reached the Gulf coast. Tropical-storm-force winds currently extend 90 miles from the center, mainly to the northeast.

“There is a chance that the system could briefly become a tropical storm this afternoon before it merges with the cold front. However, even if this occurs it will make little difference to the impacts on the northern Gulf coast,” forecasters wrote in the 11 a.m. update.

The system could bring two to four inches of rain to the Central Gulf coast and the Lower Mississippi Valley through Saturday morning, along with above-normal tides, gale-force winds and potentially “a couple tornadoes” in the southeast portions of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

Forecasters said the storm should dissipate after 48 hours.

Alex Harris covers climate change for the Miami Herald, including how South Florida communities are adapting to the warming world. She attended the University of Florida.
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