A tropical storm warning is in effect for High Island, Texas to the mouth of the Pearl River.
Storm surges are expected of 1 to 3 feet above ground level and possible tornadoes from south-central Louisiana to the western Florida Panhandle.
New policies in place at the National Hurricane Center now allow forecasters to issue full advisories - including a forecast track and watches and warnings - for storms that could form and impact land within 48 hours.
This is an expansive system, already bringing heavy rain from the Florida panhandle to southeast Louisiana. If that tropical depression strengthens into the tropical storm, it would be named using the next name on that year's list of names.
There is a 90 percent chance that a tropical storm will develop in the Gulf of Mexico in the next day or two, threatening oil and natural gas facilities and other energy infrastructure as it advances toward Texas and Louisiana. A tropical storm watch is in effect for the Caribbean islands of Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba.
Flash flood watches have been posted for much of this area through Thursday evening, and the National Weather Service is warning of "multiple rounds of very heavy rain" resulting in the potential for "significant" flash flooding.
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The heaviest rainfall from the storm is expected east of the storm's path. The storm's maximum sustained winds were 40 miles per hour as it moved to the northwest at 10 miles per hour.
The warning is in effect from Cameron, Louisiana, to Intracoastal City.
As of 5am Tuesday, the system is centered about 305 miles south-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River and is moving northwest near 8 mph.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic basin, Tropical Storm Bret is churning off the coast of Venezuela about 75 miles from the Isla de Margarita.
The Atlantic hurricane season appears to be up and running with one system moving through the Southern Caribbean and another possibly forming in the Gulf of Mexico.