PINELLAS COUNTY - Tampa Bay edged into the forecast track cone for tropical depression 24 on Sunday. If predictions by National Hurricane Center meteorologists come true, a hurricane could arrive in time for the weekend.
A tropical storm warning and a hurricane watch were in effect for the Cayman Islands.
At 5 p.m., the center of the depression was about 150 miles southeast of Grand Cayman. The storm was moving west-northwest at about 2 mph. The NHC said steering currents were weak and erratic motion was expected for the next 48 hours.
Maximum sustained winds were near 35 mph with higher gusts. The NHC said conditions were favorable for the depression to become a tropical storm within the next 24 hours.
If the depression does strengthen into a tropical storm, it would be named Wilma, which is the last name in the NHC's list for 2005. If more tropical storms form after the 21 names on the list have been used, the NHC will begin using names from the Greek alphabet: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta ... .
If Wilma does form, the 2005 season will tie the year 1933 for the most named storms in a season. The No. 2 season was 1936 with 16 storms, followed by a tie for the No. 3 spot with 17 storms each in the years 1969 and 1887.
The NHC forecasts that the depression could strengthen into a hurricane by Tuesday.