Gulf of Mexico
National Hurricane Center

Storm Watch: Odds rise for tropical system to form near Florida in Gulf of Mexico this week, forecasters say

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center are monitoring an area disturbed weather that will move into the warm water of the Gulf of Mexico near Florida later this week. It now has a 50 percent chance of developing into a tropical system, and if it becomes a storm it would be named Tropical Storm Barry.

In its 2 p.m. advisory, the hurricane center said Sunday, “A trough of low pressure over the southeastern United States is forecast to move southward toward the northeastern Gulf of Mexico, where a broad low pressure area will likely form in a few days. Thereafter, upper-level winds support gradual development, and a tropical depression could form late week while the low meanders near the northeastern Gulf of Mexico coast through Friday.”

The hurricane center added, “Interests along the northern Gulf Coast and Florida peninsula should monitor the progress of this system.”

After initially forecasting the the disturbed weather area to a 40 percent chance of becoming a tropical system over the next five days, the hurricane center raised the odds to 50 percent Sunday afternoon. Based on early hurricane center graphics, it appears to have the possibility of impacting Florida.

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View image on Twitter

Hurricane season started on June 1 and runs though Nov. 30, though Mother Nature doesn’t necessarily follow a calendar.

Subtropical Storm Andrea became the first named storm of the 2019 season back in May when it formed west-southwest of Bermuda. It did not impact land.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, has predicted a near-normal hurricane season this year.

“For 2019, NOAA predicts a likely range of 9 to 15 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 4 to 8 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 2 to 4 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence. An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which 6 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes.”

rsimmons@orlandosentinel.com

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