TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The area of showers and thunderstorms in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico is likely to develop before making landfall in the northern Gulf Coast.

The National Hurricane Center is deeming it Potential Tropical Cyclone Sixteen as of 11 a.m. Thursday.

This naming system does not mean it has organized into a tropical cyclone yet. It allows the National Hurricane Center to issue a track and watches and warnings to the areas that will potentially be affected.

The NHC deems a tropical wave or disturbance a potential tropical cyclone only if the area being monitored is likely to develop and impact land within 48 hours.

This is the case with PTC16. The disturbance will likely continue to organize and develop further Thursday and Friday.

Currently, the forecast has the storm making landfall Saturday morning as a tropical storm in the western panhandle of Florida.

This would bring rain and some wind to the southeast United States with deep tropical moisture surging in.

Rain chances increase Friday and stay high through much of Saturday before coming down again Sunday.

Tampa Bay would likely see a breezy Friday evening and Saturday morning along with periods of rain. There will be an isolated tornado threat along the Nature Coast and the Big Bend of Florida.

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