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Hurricane Watch Issued For Parts Of Pinellas And Areas North

Forecasters have issued a hurricane watch for parts of Florida stretching from northwest of Tampa to an area east of Panama City.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami issued the watch for an area of the Gulf coast from the Anclote River to Indian Pass. An area to the west of Indian pass on the Panhandle is under a tropical storm watch.

The watches are related to a tropical depression churning in the Gulf about 345 miles west of Key West.

Forecasters say they expect the system to turn to the northeast toward Florida on Wednesday. It's also expected to become a tropical storm by Wednesday.

“The storm is moving over very warm water and winds aloft have lightened quite a bit,” said Florida Public Radio Emergency Network Meteorologist Jeff Huffman. “There is a window over the next 48 hours for some intensification. It could be a strong tropical storm by tomorrow afternoon as it starts to accelerate northeastward.”

The National Hurricane Center is projecting the storm to make landfall in north Florida Thursday. A complete list of possible local weather hazards from the soon-to-be storm is available on our mobile app Florida Storms, a service of the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network.

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