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Gonzalo likely to become a hurricane, but so far not a danger to Yucatan

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Tropical Storm Gonzalo weakened on Thursday, but could still rebound into the first hurricane of the Atlantic storm season, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

While its trajectory appears to be headed toward Yucatan, the storm posed no threat to the region as of Friday, according to the Merida Regional Hydrometeorological Center.

The hurricane center believes that Gonzalo could briefly strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane on Saturday as it passes by the Venezuelan coast.

Then it could weaken back down to tropical storm status as it moves through the Caribbean Sea and toward the Yucatan Peninsula this weekend.

Gonzalo was 775 miles east of the Windward Islands as of 8 p.m. Thursday, continuing its northwest path with maximum sustained wind speeds of 60 mph.

The storm had reached sustained winds of up to 65 mph on Wednesday, the same day it became a tropical storm.

“Some strengthening is forecast during the next day or two, and there is still a chance that Gonzalo could become a hurricane. Weakening is expected after Gonzalo moves into the Caribbean Sea,” reads the center’s 8 p.m. Thursday storm advisory.

When Tropical Storm Gonzalo formed Wednesday it became the earliest seventh named storm in recorded history in the Atlantic. A system in the Gulf of Mexico is expected Friday to become the eighth. If it forms, it would become Tropical Storm Hanna.

“It’s not a well defined system but it’s bringing up all types of moisture,” said Kacmarik. She also believes that the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico will help propel the system to tropical storm strength.

Kacmarik predicts the storm will make landfall in Texas this weekend as Tropical Storm Hanna.

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