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Tropical depression forms in Atlantic off Florida; forecast to become tropical storm Tuesday

MIAMI - A tropical depression has formed off the coast of Florida and is expected to develop fairly quickly into the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Tropical Depression One formed Monday and had maximum sustained winds of about 35 mph (55 kph), with higher gusts. It was centred 105 miles (170 kms) east-southeast of Cape Canaveral and was moving southwest at about 2 mph (4 kph).

A tropical-storm watch was in effect Monday night for the east coast of Florida from Fort Pierce northward to just south of Flagler Beach.

The Hurricane Center said gradual strengthening was expected during the next 48 hours and that the depression is forecast to become a tropical storm by Tuesday.

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