ORLANDO, Fla. — Meteorologists are tracking two tropical disturbances in the Gulf of Mexico and North Carolina coastlines, with the potential of becoming the next tropical depression or storm by next week.
A trough of low pressure with tropical potential was identified west of the Yucatan Peninsula on Friday morning, and by Sunday afternoon the National Hurricane Center said the system “has become somewhat better organized” since Saturday, as it heads over the Bay of Campeche in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico early next week.
“Regardless of development, heavy rainfall is possible over portions of Central America and southern Mexico during the next several days,” said NHC forecasters Philippe Papin and Richard Pasch.
The trough, also known as an elongated air pressure system, has a 20% chance of formation in 48 hours and remains at a 50% chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next five days, according to NHC updates. Slow development is possible and meteorologists expect the system to drift further north.
After the trough emerges, if it becomes a tropical storm it will be the second named storm of the year and don the moniker Bill.
If the storm does develop, it would arrive earlier than typical B-named storms, which usually arrive on average by June 25, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Meanwhile, a second non-tropical area of low pressure formed about 150 miles south of Wilmington, North Carolina, and causing thunderstorms in the area, according to the latest NHC advisory.
“This system is forecast to move northeastward for the next few days near the warm Gulf Stream, which could allow for some tropical development to occur while it moves away from the United States,” said NHC forecaster Eric Blake.
The low pressure formed has a 20% chance of formation in the next five days, where it “should be over cold waters south of Nova Scotia by midweek, ending its development chances,” according to Blake.
In 2020, there were two named storms before the June 1 start of the season.
The NOAA predicts that like the 2020 season, 2021 will observe an above-average count of named storms before the Nov. 30 end of the season. A typical season has 14 named storms. The NOAA predicts 2021 to develop 13 to 20 named storms.
Orlando Sentinel staff writers Joe Mario Pedersen and Katie Rice contributed to this report.
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