There has been a lot of talk over the last few days and certainly many posts on social media about potential tropical development in the Gulf of Mexico.
You may have heard percent chances of development being thrown around. Here is what is true. There is a weather system in the Caribbean now that we are watching.
There is the potential for that system to acquire some tropical characteristics as it moves northward into the Gulf over the weekend. Here is what is also true, when there is talk of the percent chance of tropical development (and in this case sub tropical development -- which means that it won't be entirely tropical), that is referring to the possibility of the system becoming a tropical depression.
Is it possible that this system could become strong enough to get a name? Yes, but some context for you....a named system has maximum sustained winds of 39 mph or higher. So, if a small sample of winds reach 39 mph, then a tropical system that has a closed area of low pressure would get a name.
In this particular case, there is very strong wind shear aloft, which means that any kind of significant development is very unlikely. Also, with a system like this being so disorganized, even though a "center" may track through the Gulf, there will be lots of rain well to the east of the center.
So, what does all this mean? Well, with respect to any differences in our weekend forecast, really nothing.
Regardless of development, a blob of moisture will be drawn northward over Florida, giving the Sunshine State a high chance for rain on Saturday and, depending on the track of the low, potentially Sunday and Memorial Day.
Hurricane season begins June 1 and there have been named systems in May in the past, but this one is not one to worry about at all. We will let you know when a legitimate tropical threat is coming or nearby.
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