Tropical Storm Gamma could form Saturday

By Alex Harris and Michelle Marchante, Miami Herald on

Published in Weather News

MIAMI - A new tropical depression has formed south of the Yucatan Peninsula, and it could be on track to become Tropical Storm Gamma as soon as Saturday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Tropical storm watches and warnings were issued for parts of the Yucatan Peninsula, where the depression is expected to cross over the weekend before hooking west into Mexico.

It's far enough from South Florida that forecasters don't expect to see any impacts, but an approaching cold front is on track to drench the region anyway.

South Florida is forecast to see heavy rain and potential flooding this weekend. And while the bad weather is being caused by a stalled front, the activity in the Caribbean Sea is also bringing extra moisture to the area, potentially increasing the region's rain chances, the National Weather Service said Thursday. Parts of Miami-Dade and Broward remain under a flood watch through the weekend.

Tropical Depression 25 formed Friday mid-morning, and as of the 11 a.m. EDT update it had 35 mph maximum winds and was moving northwest at 9 mph.

"Sea surface temperatures are very warm, near 30 deg C, and vertical shear should remain low for at least the next couple of days, so the cyclone is likely to become a tropical storm by the time it nears the Yucatan Peninsula tomorrow.," forecasters wrote.


Forecasters say those with interests in the Yucatan Peninsula and northern Central America should continue monitoring the disturbance progress as tropical storm watches or warnings may be issued for portions of the area later Friday.

Regardless of if the disturbance forms into a tropical depression or a tropical storm this weekend, heavy rain with possible flash flooding is still expected over portions of western Cuba, southeastern Mexico and Central America during the next several days, according to the hurricane center.

An Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft is scheduled to investigate the system Friday afternoon, if forecasters find it necessary.

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