Disturbance in southern Gulf develops into tropical depression

Image from approximately 8:10 Thursday evening.
Image from approximately 8:10 Thursday evening.

MIAMI (AP) - A tropical depression has formed off the eastern coast of Mexico and threatens to bring heavy rains and major flooding to parts of the region.

The National Hurricane Center said Thursday night that the depression is about 165 miles (266 kilometers) east-northeast of Veracruz, Mexico. It has maximum sustained winds of 35 mph (56 kph) and is moving westward at 5 mph (8 kph).

A tropical storm warning is in effect for eastern Mexico from Coatzacoalcos to Barra de Nautla.

Forecasters said a slow and erratic motion is expected over the far-southern Gulf of Mexico over the coming days.

Some strengthening is expected over the next two days, with the system likely becoming a tropical storm on Friday.

The depression is expected to dump 10 to 15 inches of rain over a large part of eastern Mexico, with some mountainous areas getting as much as 25 inches. Forecasters say these rains are likely to result in life-threatening flash floods and mud slides.

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