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New storm could take shape off Florida coast

Brett Clarkson, Sun Sentinel on

Published in Weather News

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- An area of storms and clouds near the northwestern Caribbean Sea could become this hurricane season's next tropical depression, forecasters say.

And if it forms, it's expected to head north into the southern Gulf of Mexico -- in the general vicinity of Southern Florida.

The patch of rough weather, depicted as a yellow blob on the National Hurricane Center's forecast map, is centered over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula -- the part of the country that hooks north toward the Gulf Mexico.

The disturbance has a less than 40 percent chance of development.

October can be an active month for hurricanes and major storms, as seen with Matthew last year, Sandy in 2012, and Wilma in 2005, among others over the years. Experts have said that given how busy this hurricane season has been so far, they don't expect October to be much different than the previous several months.

The high level of action in the tropics this year is a result of warm surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico combined with low adverse winds.

These two conditions make for a very hospitable atmosphere for the formation of tropical depressions, storms and hurricanes.

So far this busy hurricane season has seen Hurricane Harvey devastate Houston, Hurricane Irma flatten parts of the Caribbean as well as the Florida Keys, and Hurricane Maria lay waste to several Caribbean islands including the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, causing a humanitarian crisis.

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