Tropical Storm Dolly Forms in Gulf of Mexico

The slumbering 2014 hurricane season is finally coming out of hibernation. Just over a week after Hurricane Cristobal pulled together in the Caribbean, the fourth named storm of the year has become official in the Gulf of Mexico.

Miami's National Hurricane Center this morning named Tropical Storm Dolly, which is spinning off the coast of Mexico with 50 mph winds and heavy rain. The storm won't bother anyone in South Florida unless they're planning a trip to coastal Mexico in the next couple days.

Dolly is expected to keep gaining strength over the warm waters of the Bay of Campeche today before making landfall in Mexico late tonight or early tomorrow morning.

Dolly may not be a worry to South Florida, but the start of September means the heart of the year's season is now afoot and forecasters are already eyeing a front set to blow off the coast of Africa later this week.

"Our three reliable computer models for predicting tropical storm formation all show development by Saturday of a tropical wave expected to come off the coast of Africa on Friday," writes Dr. Jeff Masters at the Weather Underground.

Today is also the anniversary of the single most powerful storm ever to make landfall in the United States -- the deadly 1935 Labor Day Hurricane, which packed 185 mph wind:

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink