MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Tropical Depression 9 became Tropical Storm Ida Thursday afternoon in the west Caribbean Sea.

The National Hurrican Center said it is projected to target the U.S. Gulf Coast by Sunday at near hurricane strength.

READ MORE: French Forces Kill ISIS Leader Believed To Be Responsible For Sgt. La David Johnson’s Death

At 6 p.m., Ida was about 100 miles west-southwest of Negril, Jamaica, packing maximum sustained winds of 40 mph.

Ida is forecast to reach the Cayman Islands Thursday night and western Cuba and the Yucatan Channel on Friday.

Tropical Storm Warnings have been issued for the Cayman Islands and western Cuba.

Locally heavy rainfall and flooding are possible over portions of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands on Thursday and will likely spread across Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula on Friday.

READ MORE: COVID Booster Shot Confusion Ahead Of FDA Advisory Committee Meeting

High pressure is expected to keep this system away from South Florida and it is expected to enter into the Gulf of Mexico Friday night and continue moving northwestward toward the central or northwestern U.S. Gulf coast.

The depression is forecast to strengthen into Tropical Storm Ida Thursday night and become a hurricane as it nears western Cuba.

There is the potential for storm surge, damaging winds, and heavy rainfall along portions of the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle by Sunday and Monday.

A second system they are tracking is a trough of low pressure located over the central Atlantic about 600 miles East of Bermuda. Environmental conditions are forecast to be generally conducive for development, and a tropical depression is likely to form late this week or this weekend as the system moves slowly eastward at 5 to 10 mph. The National Hurricane Center is giving this system a high potential for development over the next five days.

Finally, there is a tropical wave located over the central tropical Atlantic about 1000 miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms.

MORE NEWS: Rodney Rodriguez, Driver In High-Speed Crash That Killed 3, Finally Booked Into Jail

Environmental conditions appear a little more conducive for development during the next few days and a tropical depression could form by the weekend as the system moves toward the west-northwest or northwest at 10 to 15 mph. Upper-level winds could become less conducive for development by early next week. The National Hurricane Center said this disturbance has a medium potential of development over the next five days.

Lissette Gonzalez