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An area of low pressure in the northwestern Caribbean Sea has an 80 percent chance of becoming a tropical storm over the next 48 hours, the National Hurricane Center said Friday.

The low pressure area is “beginning to show signs of organization,” forecasters said in a 1:00 p.m. advisory, noting that “environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for additional development, and a tropical
depression or tropical storm is likely to form later today or Saturday.”

The potential storm’s “cone of uncertainty” could place it on a track into the Gulf of Mexico, though forecasters said it’s more likely the storm will head northeastward toward Cuba and South Florida. An Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft is en route to investigate the system, officials said.

Regardless of the storm’s development, forecasters expect the system to produce locally heavy rainfall over the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, and portions of Cuba during the next day or two. Rainfall is also forecast to spread northward across portions of South Florida and the Florida Keys on Saturday.

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