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Hurricane center says tropical systems could form off Florida, in Gulf of Mexico this week

Richard Tribou, Orlando Sentinel on

Published in Weather News

ORLANDO, Fla. — The National Hurricane Center is eyeing two systems with a chance to form into the season’s first tropical depression or storm including one in the Atlantic that could threaten Florida and one in the western Gulf of Mexico.

Of the most concern for Florida is an area of thunderstorms located several hundred miles east of the Bahamas associated with a surface trough of an upper-level area of low pressure. In its 8 a.m. tropical outlook Monday, the NHC only gave it low chances of development, though.

“Environmental conditions could be conducive for some development of this system during the next few days while it moves westward or west-northwestward,” NHC senior hurricane specialist Jack Beven said. “The system is forecast to approach the coast of the southeast United States on Thursday or Friday.”

The NHC gives it a 10% chance develop in the next two days and 30% chance in the next seven.

There is a chance, though, it will bring heavy rainfall to Florida late this week, according to the National Weather Service in Melbourne.

A system in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, however, has higher chances to develop, and could threaten the U.S. this week as well.

The broad area of low pressure forming over the Bay of Campeche is for now is forecast to drop several days of heavy rain over portions of southern Mexico and Central America that could cause life-threatening flooding, the NHC warned.

“Environmental conditions appear conducive for additional gradual development, and a tropical depression or tropical storm is likely to form by midweek while it moves slowly westward or west-northwestward toward the western Gulf coast,” Beven said.

 

Heavy rainfall is expected to spread over portions of the northwestern Gulf of Mexico by the middle of the week and gale warnings have been put in place for portions of the Gulf already.

The NHC has sent out an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft to further investigate the system today.

The NHC gives it a 70% chance to develop into a tropical depression or storm in the next two to seven days.

The 2024 Atlantic hurricane season is forecast to be a busy one, but it has yet to see its first named storm

If either system spins up to at least tropical-storm force, it would become Tropical Storm Alberto.

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