MIAMI - A tropical depression formed Saturday off the Florida coast, prompting officials to issue a tropical storm watch for parts of the North Carolina coast.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Tropical Depression One was located about 125 miles (200 km) east of Melbourne, Florida, late in the afternoon.
The tropical storm watch was issued for the North Carolina coast from north of Surf City to Duck, including Pamlico and Albemarle sounds, officials said.
An Air Force Hurricane Hunter plane was scheduled to investigate the storm system Saturday night.
The disturbance had the potential to bring heavy rainfall to portions of east central Florida through Saturday night, forecasters said.
"Interests near the North Carolina coast should closely monitor the progress of this system, as it could produce gusty winds and heavy rains there on Monday," forecasters said.
Hazardous marine conditions will also spread north over the southeastern and mid-Atlantic U.S. coasts over the next few days, likely causing dangerous surf and rip currents.