The pause in the record-setting Atlantic tropical-storm season evidently isn't going to last much longer.

The National Hurricane Center expects a disturbance off the Nicaraguan coast to gain tropical-storm strength sometime before Thursday.

It then is forecast to become a minimal hurricane, with peak winds of 80 mph, during the weekend and follow a track toward the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Gulf waters remain quite warm, particularly along the southwest coast where sea-surface temperatures are in the low- to mid-80s.

And the hurricane center says the storm is likely to prowl an area where the wind shear, which could rip it apart, is low.

The hurricane season still has miles to go – all the way to Nov. 30, in fact, although activity tends to cool with the weather.

On average, the Atlantic Basin, which includes the Caribbean and Gulf, experiences two of them annually from Oct. 4 on.

Some of the most damaging and deadly hurricanes have occurred in October.

They include Mitch, in 1999, blamed for at least 9,000 deaths in Central America; Opal, 1995, which flattened part of the Florida Panhandle, and Hazel, in 1954, which killed up to 1,000 people in Haiti and 195 in the United States and Canada.

So far in 2017, 15 named storms, those with winds of at least 39 mph, have formed in the Atlantic Basin. Nine of those have become hurricanes.

The long-term averages through Oct. 4 are nine and four, respectively.