Tropical weather system strengthens as it moves toward Gulf

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Forecasters say a tropical weather system moving toward the Gulf of Mexico is strengthening.

The National Hurricane Center said Friday that a low pressure system in the northwestern Caribbean Sea has become better defined overnight and could be a tropical depression or storm by Saturday.

They put chances of formation at 90 percent over the next two days.

The system sits east of the Yucatan Peninsula but moving northward. Forecasters say heavy rains are likely across western Cuba, much of Florida and the northern Gulf Coast into early next week.

Portions of the northern Gulf Coast are likely to experience tropical storm force winds and storm surge.

There's also a strong threat of rip currents from Florida to Louisiana.

An Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft is scheduled to investigate.