Chances diminished today that a storm could enter the Gulf of Mexico this weekend, threatening Louisiana.

"Right now, no big impacts are expected in the New Orleans area, but we will continue to closely watch it as there is still some uncertainty," WWL-TV meteorologist Alexandra Cranford said in a forecast Thursday evening.

 

At of 4 p.m., the storm hovered over the Bahamas with maximum sustained winds of 30 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. 

"The system is expected to move toward the northwest near 8 mph, and this motion is forecast to continue during the next two days," the center said. "On this track, the system is anticipated to move across the northwestern Bahamas on Friday and along or over the east coast of central Florida on Saturday."

The storm was forecast to become tropical depression or a tropical storm during the next day or so, the National Hurricane Center said. Once maximum sustained winds reach 39 mph, it will become Tropical Storm Humberto.

Several forecasts said the storm's most likely path would take it north off Florida's east coast, remaining just offshore. However, a few computer models continued to predict the storm would enter the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday or Sunday.

"The uncertainty comes in because this is not a developed system, and computer models are not picking up perfectly on its still-murky center of circulation," Cranford said. "Most models are bringing it well east of Louisiana toward Florida, or even east of Florida, similar to the path Dorian took."

Hurricane season runs July 1 through Nov. 30.

-- Executive Editor Keith Magill can be reached at 857-2201 or keith.magill@houmatoday.com. Follow him on Twitter @CourierEditor.