A tropical depression formed Tuesday afternoon in the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean, forecasters from the National Hurricane Center said. It's one of two systems that forecasters were watching, with the other one still developing in the Gulf of Mexico.
As of 5 p.m. ET, the Atlantic system, dubbed Tropical Depression Seven, had winds of 35 mph and was located 1420 miles east of the Windward Islands. It moving to the west-northwest at 8 mph, the hurricane center said.
If its wind speed reaches 39 mph, it would become Tropical Storm Gonzalo, the seventh named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. If it is named before Friday, it would be the earliest "G" storm on record, beating when Gert was named on July 24, 2005.
However, even if it does develop into Gonzalo, the hurricane center said, it could weaken by the weekend, depending on the strength of the storm as it approaches the Caribbean.
If the system remains weak, then it is more likely to break up as it nears the Caribbean, AccuWeather said. But, if it ramps up quickly, then it may have a better chance of surviving and lasting for many days upon moving west through the Caribbean.
The other system, in the Gulf of Mexico, has a 40% chance of developing into a depression or storm within the next five days, according to the hurricane center. "This system is expected to ... move over the central Gulf on Wednesday, and reach the northwestern Gulf on Thursday and Friday," the hurricane center said.
Regardless of whether or not the system develops into a depression or storm, the Gulf system will spread drenching showers and locally gusty thunderstorms onshore into southern Louisiana beginning on Thursday and the middle and upper portions of the Texas coast on Friday, AccuWeather said.
Meanwhile, far out in the eastern Pacific Ocean, Tropical Storm Douglas is forecast to become a hurricane later Tuesday or early Wednesday, the center said. Although it poses no immediate threat to land, a weakening system could eventually affect Hawaii over the weekend and early next week, Weather.com said.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tropical depression forms in Atlantic Ocean