The Latest: Tropical storm warning for Florida's Gulf coast

RODANTHE, N.C. (AP) " The Latest on tropical weather systems threatening the Southeast (all times local):

5:20 a.m.

A tropical storm warning has been issued Wednesday morning for a section of Florida's Gulf coast as a tropical depression approaches.

The tropical storm warning covers an area from Anclote River to the Walton County-Bay County line. That area is also under a hurricane watch.

The depression's maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 kph). But the U.S. National Hurricane Center says strengthening is forecast and the depression is expected to become a tropical storm later in the day. The Hurricane Center says it also could become a hurricane by the time it makes landfall.

The depression is centered about 425 miles (680 kilometers) southwest of Tampa, Florida, and is moving north near 2 mph (4 kph). It's expected to later curve northeastward.


3:15 a.m.

The National Hurricane Center says the Outer Banks will likely be drenched as a tropical weather system blows by. But forecasters say the storm isn't expected to surpass tropical-storm strength as it lashes North Carolina beaches through Wednesday.

Officials expected heavy rains of up to 5 inches and winds of up to 45 mph.

Elsewhere, a powerful hurricane threatened to pass "dangerously close" to Hawaii, and a hurricane watch was issued for parts of Florida's Gulf Coast because of a tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico.

Business owners on North Carolina's Ocracoke and Hatteras Islands say they've experienced a drop in foot traffic. But by late Tuesday, many tourists had decided to brave the weather. Large waves also attracted surfers from out of town.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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