12:15 P.M.: The Hurricane Center has upgraded TD 14 to Tropical Storm Michael.
Satellite wind data indicated the depression had strengthened Sunday morning with maximum winds of 40 mph.
The storm center was located about 90 miles south of Cozumel, Mexico, or 225 miles southwest of the western tip of Cuba. It was moving north at a slightly higher speed of 5 mph.
10 A.M.: According to the National Hurricane Center's Advisory No. 4, Tropical Depression 14 continues to become better organized and is near tropical storm strength. A hurricane hunter aircraft is scheduled to fly into the depression early Sunday afternoon to get a better idea of its intensity.
The Hurricane Center predicts dangerous surf conditions will start to appear along the northern Gulf Coast on Tuesday. It cannot predict exactly where or when the storm will strike, but has raised its intensity window to a possible 80 mph storm.
The Mobile office of the National Weather Service warns a high risk of rip currents will start Monday morning and extend through Wednesday.
A tropical depression that formed Sunday morning is expected to move into the Gulf of Mexico and grow into a hurricane before striking the Florida Panhandle, forecasters say.
The weather system, named Tropical Depression 14, was classified a cyclone as it churned through the northwestern Caribbean sea with 35 mph winds on Sunday morning.
According to the National Hurricane Center’s 7 a.m. advisory, TD 14 was about 100 miles east-northeast of Chetumal on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula or about 240 miles south-southwest of Cuba’s western tip.
Maximum winds were 35 mph and the central pressure was 1004 mb, or 29.65 inches.
The depression was moving north at 3 mph.
A tropical storm warning was in effect for the provinces of Pinar del Rio and the Isle of Youth in Cuba, and the Mexican coast from Tulum to Cabo Catoche. The Hurricane Center’s statement said interests along the northeastern and central U.S. Gulf Coast should monitor the progress of the depression.
It added TD 14 was expected to continue moving north with an increase in forward speed. It was expected to strengthen into Tropical Storm Michael on Sunday, and could become Hurricane Michael on Tuesday night or Wednesday.
This information will be updated throughout the day as situation develops.