‘High’ chance of tropical development in Gulf of Mexico this week

The National Hurricane Center says there is a high chance the wave near the Yucatan Peninsula develops into a tropical cyclone early this week (Image: WHNT News 19)

The National Hurricane Center says there is a high chance the tropical wave currently located near the Yucatan Peninsula develops into a tropical cyclone early this week.

A broad area of low pressure located near the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula continues to produce a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms along with winds to gale force several hundred miles to the east and northeast of the center.

Although surface pressures are falling over the northwestern Caribbean Sea, the low still lacks a well-defined center of circulation. However, gradual development of this system is expected while it moves slowly north-northwestward across the Yucatan Peninsula overnight, and then over the southern or central Gulf of Mexico on Monday and Tuesday, where a tropical or subtropical cyclone is likely to form.

Regardless of development, heavy rains are expected to continue over portions of Central America, the Yucatan Peninsula, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and western Cuba during the next few days.

An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate this system on Monday, if necessary.

Where will it go?

It is way too early to say with any confidence exactly where this system will track.

Some forecast models keep the system over the Bay of Campeche and then carry it over into far south Texas or northern Mexico. Other models drift the system due north into the open Gulf of Mexico.

Anyone planning on making a trip to the Alabama coast next week should pay close attention to this system.

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There is another tropical wave out in the Atlantic that also has a high chance of developing within the next few days.

This system will end up in the Caribbean Sea next week.