Bangalore (Reuters) - Tropical depression 13 formed over the central Gulf of Mexico while a tropical storm warning has been issued for portions of the northern Gulf Coast, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in its latest report on Thursday.
"A tropical storm warning has been issued for the coast of the northern Gulf of Mexico from Pascagoula, Mississippi westward to Sabine Pass, Texas," the NHC said.
At 7:46 p.m. ET (2346 GMT), the center of the Tropical Depression was located 225 miles southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi river.
"A slow northwestward motion is forecast through Friday. The center of the cyclone is expected to approach the coast of southern Louisiana on Saturday," the Miami-based NHC said.
The depression could become a tropical storm on Friday, the NHC added.
If the depression develops into a storm, it would be named Lee. Tropical cyclones become named tropical storms when their winds exceed 39 miles per hour (63 km/h) and become hurricanes when their winds reach more than 74 mph (119 km/h).
Major oil and gas producers in the oil-rich Gulf of Mexico shut down some output and evacuated workers on Thursday ahead of a weather disturbance that could become this year's 12th named storm.
(Reporting by Soma Das in Bangalore; Editing by Gary Hill)