A tropical depression is brewing over the open Atlantic, and meteorologists said Monday it was forecast to become the next tropical storm of the 2006 hurricane season.

The depression was located about 1,345 miles east of the Lesser Antilles, according to the National Hurricane Center.

At 5 a.m. EDT, the sixth depression of the season had top sustained winds near 35 mph and was moving toward the northwest near 12 mph, forecasters said.

The depression will be named Florence if it reaches tropical storm strength with winds of at least 39 mph. Forecasters said it could become a tropical storm by Monday or Tuesday.

It comes on the heels of Tropical Storm Ernesto, which was briefly the season's first Atlantic hurricane.