MIAMI (AP) — Tropical Storm Ernesto has passed over or near the island of St. Lucia and is moving into the eastern Caribbean sea.

Ernesto's maximum sustained winds Friday are near 45 mph (75 kph) with some strengthening forecast over the next two days.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for Dominica, St. Lucia and Martinique and Guadeloupe.

The storm is centered about 40 miles (65 kilometers) west-southwest of St. Lucia and 25 miles (45 kilometers) west-northwest of St. Vincent. Ernesto is moving west near 24 mph (39 kph).

Ernesto's current forecast track shows it possibly becoming a hurricane next week as it heads toward the Gulf of Mexico.