Tropical depression likely to be declared Tropical Storm "Gert" later Sunday

TROPICAL UPDATE: Tropical Depression Eight forms east of the Bahamas

TROPICAL UPDATE: Tropical Depression Eight forms east of the Bahamas

Somewhat favorable conditions should allow the system to strengthen as it moves northward.

The hurricane center said gradual strengthening is expected, and the depression should become Tropical Storm Gert later today.

While its intensity will likely peak as a strong tropical storm, it's possible this storm will become a hurricane early this week. It's expected to remain east of the United States.

Forecasters give the disturbance a 40 percent chance of developing into a tropical system during the next couple of days and a 60 percent chance of formation by the middle of next week.

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The upper level winds that have been from the west and northwest, bringing down another cool front will curve the storm out to sea. It could act as a "shield" to the east coast if it does.

However, a turn to the north and eventually northeast is forecast to begin tonight, which should steer the storm away from the U.S. With its current forecast track, the only impact to the United States will be some increased surf along the coast.

Check back with us at weather.com for the latest on this, and everything in the tropics this hurricane season.

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