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Worried about Tropical Storm Cindy? How to troubleshoot your trip

  • NOAA expects an "above normal" hurricane season with 11 to 17 named storms.
  • Tropical storm watches and warnings for Tropical Storm Cindy are in effect for parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Travelers heading to the Gulf Coast this week should keep an eye on the weather forecast.

Tropical Storm Cindy has formed in the Gulf of Mexico, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Hurricane Center said Tuesday. The agency had already issued tropical storm watches and warnings for several areas along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

(NOAA has predicted an "above normal" year of storms with a 70 percent likelihood of 11 to 17 named storms, including five-to-nine hurricanes.)

Several areas in Texas are under tropical storm warnings and watches. The NOAA advisory also notes the potential for hazards including tornadoes in south-central Louisiana and the western Florida panhandle, and extensive rain in parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

Burton McNeely | Getty Images

"Interests elsewhere along the U.S. Gulf Coast from the central Texas coast to the western Florida Panhandle should monitor the progress of this system," according to the advisory.

Travelers heading to, from or through an area in the path of the storm might start checking to see how easily and cheaply they can shift plans. (See tips below.)

Now that Cindy is a named storm, it's too late to pick up travel insurance for your trip. But if you already have a policy in place, check to see if its protections have kicked in (they may not have, yet). United has already offered to waive the change fee and any difference in fare for travelers looking to rebook their trip to, from or connecting through 10 airports in the region.