(AP) - Tropical Storm Cindy has formed in the Gulf of Mexico and is threatening to spread heavy rain across a wide area of the central Gulf coast.
The National Weather Service in Miami says the storm is centered about 265 miles (430 kilometers) south of Morgan City, Louisiana - or about 355 miles (565 kilometers) southeast of Galveston, Texas. Cindy has top sustained winds of 45 mph (75 kph) and the storm is presently stationary in the Gulf. It says Cindy acquired a well-defined center on Tuesday afternoon, becoming the third tropical storm of 2017.
The center say Cindy is expected to reach the Louisiana coast sometime late Wednesday and then move inland over western Louisiana and eastern Texas on Thursday. Forecasters say rain totaling 6 to 9 inches in areas and up to 12 inches in some spots pose a threat to southern portions of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle through Thursday.
Forecasters say a tropical storm warning is in effect from High Island on the upper Texas coast all the way to the mouth of the Pearl River at the state line of Louisiana and Mississippi. A tropical storm watch is in effect elsewhere on the Texas coast from west of High Island to San Luis Pass.
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