Tropical Depression Eight forms east of the Bahamas

Tropical wave moves northwest toward US; but landfall unlikely

A tropical storm will pass by the coast of North Carolina early this week, but the rain and wind will stay well offshore.

The National Hurricane Center upgraded Tropical Depression #8 to Tropical Storms Gert around 3:45PM CDT on Sunday.

The storm is expected to bring a higher risk of rip currents to Florida's east coast, according to Jessie Smith, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

As of 5 p.m. Sunday afternoon, Tropical Storm Gert was producing an area of maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour, making it a minimal tropical storm force system.

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There are now no watches or warnings in effect.

The storm is churning at 40 mph with gusts to 50 mph, moving NNW around 10 mph.

"Gert" becomes the 7th named tropical storm of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

The hurricane center expected it to gradually strengthen over the next few days. However, well before it reaches the east coast of the U.S.it is forecast to turn towards the northeast and move out to sea.

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