Tropical Storm Cindy was located about 265 miles south of Morgan City, Louisiana and 355 miles southeast of Galveston, Texas about 2 p.m. June 20.
The third named storm of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season formed Tuesday afternoon in the Gulf of Mexico.
At 2 p.m., the National Hurricane Center reported that Tropical Storm Cindy was located about 265 miles south of Morgan City, Louisiana and 355 miles southeast of Galveston, Texas. Maximum sustained winds were 45 mph. Cindy was stationary.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for High Island to the mouth of the Pearl River, and a tropical storm watch is in effect for west of High Island to San Luis Pass. Interests along the U.S. Gulf Coast from central Texas to the western Florida Panhandle are advised to keep tuned to the weather as Cindy moves closer to the coast.
Cindy is expected to approach the coast of southwest Louisiana late Wednesday or Wednesday night and move inland over western Louisiana and eastern Texas on Thursday.
Potential for a busy season
The Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a 45 percent chance that the 2017 hurricane season will have above-normal activity, a 35 percent chance of near-normal activity and a 20 percent chance of a below-normal season.
The seasonal Outlook calls for a 70 percent likelihood that 11-17 named storms will form this year with five-nine strengthening into hurricanes and two-four strengthening into a major hurricane.†An average season has 12 named storms with six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
Pinellas County Emergency Management officials are urging residents to prepare now with special attention being given to evacuation zones and storm surge models, which have changed.
Officials announced June 1 that 85,193 parcels have changed evacuation levels. Of that number, 74,688 parcels changed to a lower level, 10,505 changed to a higher level, and 19,882 changed from a non-evacuation zone to an evacuation zone.
Storm surge models also were updated. Homes in an E evacuation zone now have the risk of experiencing storm surge up to 35 feet, D zone up to 28 feet, C zone up to 20 feet, B zone up to 15 feet, and an A zone up to 15 feet.