ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Just as Hurricane Gert begins to weaken as it moves into cooler waters of the north Atlantic, another storm is gathering strength east of the Caribbean.

The first in a series of tropical waves currently moving across the Atlantic became more organized overnight Wednesday into Thursday morning. Located roughly 550 miles east of the Lesser Antilles, the area of thunderstorms associated with this tropical wave could become a tropical depression or a tropical storm later today.

Tropical storm warnings are up for Martinique, St. Lucia, Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. A watch is in effect for Dominica.

More: Hurricane and tropical storm tracker

Regardless of development, heavy rain and gusty winds are expected to spread into the eastern Caribbean Thursday night and Friday. Interests in these areas should continue to monitor the development of this system.

If this system strengthens to become a tropical storm, it will be the eighth named storm of the Atlantic Hurricane Season and be named Harvey.

The storm will likely continue to develop as it moves west across the Caribbean into the middle of next week. As of Thursday, that forecast would take it toward the coast of Central America into the middle of next week.

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