TAMPA (FOX 13) - As of Tuesday evening, Tropical Depression 9 had not been upgraded to a tropical storm and continued to move slowly into the Gulf of Mexico. But hurricane and tropical storm watches were posted as forecasters watched the storm.
At the 5 p.m. National Hurricane Center update, TD 9's maximum sustained winds were still at 35 miles per hour. The system was located around 345 miles west of Key West and moving northwest at about five miles per hour.
All day, forecasters had expected the storm to intensify into a tropical storm, and they now say it could happen tonight.
A hurricane watch was issued for the coast from the Anclote River north to Indian Pass. A tropical storm watch was issued further along the Panhandle to the Walton/Bay County line.
The latest track has TD 9 turning to the north-northwest Tuesday night, followed by a turn to the north-northeast on Wednesday.
Meteorologists predict that the Tampa Bay area will likely receive the heaviest rain on Thursday. Flooding is also possible, especially in the coastal areas.
The next full update for Tropical Depression 9 is expected at 11 p.m.
For more information on TD 9 and other storm systems, visit MyFoxHurricane.