A tropical storm is likely to form in the Gulf of Mexico over the next few days, according to a forecast from the National Hurricane Center.
Now just a cluster of thunderstorms over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, the hurricane center is giving the disturbance an 80% chance of developing into Tropical Storm Jerry within the next five days.
Once it forms, the storm is expected to wander around the Gulf for a while, and potentially could hit the U.S. Gulf Coast next week, according to some of the computer models that meteorologists use to forecast weather, says Weather Underground meteorologist Jeff Masters.
Regardless of its exact track, heavy rain from the system is likely to drench part of northeastern Mexico and the Texas coast this weekend, says AccuWeather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski. Flash floods are possible along the Texas coast, along with rough surf and strong rip currents, he adds.
In eastern Mexico, rain from the storm "could cause life-threatening floods and mudslides over areas already impacted by torrential rains during the past several days," the hurricane center forecasts in an online report.
Jerry would be the 10th named storm of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season. So far, nine storms have developed, but only two have been hurricanes (Humberto and Ingrid).
Meanwhile, in the eastern Pacific Ocean, Tropical Storm Manuel continues to spin just offshore of Mexico's west coast. As of 2 p.m. ET, the storm had winds of 60 mph and was located about 100 miles west-northwest of Mazatlan, Mexico, the hurricane center reports. It was moving to the north-northwest at 5 mph.
The storm should parallel the west coast of Mexico for the next couple of days, and "could be near hurricane strength when it approaches the coast" by Friday, according to an online bulletin from the hurricane center.
The government of Mexico has issued a hurricane watch for the west-central coast of Mexico, from La Cruz to Topolobampo due to Manuel.The storm has already battered the west coast of Mexico, leading to devastating flooding that's killed at least 27 people and stranded thousands of tourists in Acapulco.
Also, far out in the open Atlantic Ocean, Tropical Storm Humberto poses no threat to land. It's located more than 1,000 miles from the Azores and has winds of 40 mph.