The National Hurricane Center said late on Wednesday that a disturbance in the northern Gulf of Mexico is nearing tropical depression status.
The storm, which will likely become tropical storm Barry on Thursday, has become better organized.
Even as just a tropical disturbance, the storm system has already caused massive flooding in the New Orleans area. Parts of the area had nearly 9 inches of rain on Wednesday, with more to come through Saturday.
The latest projections take the storm to the Louisiana coast as a hurricane. Latest forecast models put the storm on the coast sometime Saturday.
The forecast cone still keeps open the possibility the storm slides to the west, giving the Upper Texas Coast a direct hit.
The hurricane watch goes from the Mouth of the Mississippi River westward to Cameron Louisiana.
As of 10 p.m. CT, the storm is 240 miles southeast of Morgan City, Louisiana.