LAFAYETTE, LA — The National Hurricane Center named Tropical Depression Seven in the northern Caribbean Sea on Wednesday. Impacts are forecast to stay minimal in the continental United States, especially in the Gulf of Mexico.
After the Hurricane Hunters flew into the cluster of storms Wednesday afternoon, they found winds around 35 mph, with gusts up to 40 mph --strong enough to label the area a tropical depression.
Along with gusty winds, Tropical Depression Seven will bring heavy rain to island countries of the northeast and central Caribbean Sea. The National Weather Service or NWS in San Juan, Puerto Rico issued Flash Flood Watches for the entire island of Puerto Rico and U.S.. Virgin Islands through Friday afternoon.
"Many areas and rivers will experience flooding due to excessive rainfall," the NWS in Puerto Rico stated. "Five to ten inches appear likely in southern and southeast Puerto Rico."
The National Hurricane Center's forecast takes Tropical Depression Seven northward over the next, few days, with a gradual turn northeast by the weekend. It will turn east of the Bahamas around Friday, then move into the the open waters of the western Atlantic Ocean sometime Monday morning.
If Tropical Depression Seven continues to strengthen, as forecast, it will become Tropical Storm Gabrielle.