MIAMI (AP) – National Hurricane Center forecasters in Miami say a tropical depression has formed off the mid-Atlantic coast, but it’s not expected to threaten land.

The National Weather Service counts the depression as the first of the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season, which officially begins June 1.

The depression’s maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph. Forecasters say it could strengthen to a tropical storm Thursday night or Friday but then is expected to weaken or dissipate by Saturday.

Forecasters expect the depression to stay over the Atlantic, where it’s moving toward the northeast near 16 mph.

Around 5 p.m. EDT Thursday, the depression was centered about 305 miles south-southeast of Providence, R.I., and about 565 miles southwest of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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