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Tropical depression could strengthen to hurricane in Gulf of Mexico by Tuesday


Oct. 24 (UPI) — A slow-moving tropical depression will cause heavy rainfall in the Caribbean and southern Florida, and may strengthen to a hurricane near the southern Gulf of Mexico by Tuesday, weather experts said.

So-called Tropical Depression 28 was blowing with maximum sustained winds of 30 mph about 240 miles south-southeast of the tip of Cuba, the National Hurricane Center said Saturday night. The storm was barely moving at 2 mph.

The system may pick up forward speed, strengthening into a tropical storm by Sunday and moving faster Monday, approaching the Yucatan Channel or Yucatan Peninsula. The storm is predicted to have strengthened significantly and emerge over the southern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, the agency said.

Heavy rainfall of 4 to 8 inches is expected across portions of central and western Cuba, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, the northeast Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, southern Florida and the Florida Keys. A total of 12 inches of rain may have drenched southern Florida by Wednesday, the agency said.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Epsilon in the mid-Atlantic Ocean was roaring with sustained winds of 80 mph traveling about 22 mph toward the northeast about 615 miles northeast of Bermuda.

The storm will cause life-threatening surf and rip currents in Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles, the Leeward Islands and possibly the Eastern coast of the United States during the next couple of days, the agency said.

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