Tropical depression forms over Bahamas

July 17, 2011 - 4:59 PM

MIAMI (AP) — A tropical depression has formed in the Atlantic Ocean near the northern Bahamas and forecasters say it could strengthen into a tropical storm in the next day.

Authorities in the Bahamas issued a tropical storm watch for Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands. The storm isn't expected to approach the U.S.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm's center was located Sunday afternoon about 60 miles (96 kilometers) northeast of Freeport on Grand Bahama. Its maximum sustained winds were near 35 miles per hour (56 kph) and it was drifting slowly south at 2 mph (3 km).

Forecasters expected the storm to turn to the north or northeast and say it could strengthen into a tropical storm by Sunday night.