MIAMI -- Monday marks the first official day of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, and forecasters are already monitoring a disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico that has a high chance of becoming a tropical depression and possibly Tropical Storm Cristobal.
The "large" disturbance is near the west coast of the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico and is remnants of former Eastern Pacific Tropical Storm Amanda, according to the National Hurricane Center in West Miami-Dade.
Forecasters say the system "is gradually becoming better organized" and has a 90% chance of forming into a new tropical depression and possibly into Tropical Storm Cristobal in the next two to five days. The system is currently not a threat to Florida.
The disturbance was forecast to move west-northwestward over the Bay of Campeche later Monday, when environmental conditions are expected to be "conducive to support development" and a new tropical depression is likely to form by the end of Tuesday.
The system is then forecast to drift west or west-southwest over the southern Bay of Campeche through the middle of the week. Those along the coast of the Bay of Campeche should monitor this system as tropical storm watches or warnings could be required by Monday night, according to the hurricane center.
Regardless if it forms into a tropical cyclone, heavy rainfall is expected to continue over portions of southern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize and western Honduras during the next few days, according to the National Hurricane Center.
While Monday marks the first day of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, two tropical storms, Arthur and Bertha, already formed in May, making this the sixth straight season during which a named storm has formed before June 1. Neither storm affected Florida, although Arthur, which formed off the east Florida coast, did bring wet and stormy weekend weather to the state's east coast.
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