The National Hurricane Center has increased the odds in their forecast that a subtropical or tropical storm will form in the coming days in the Gulf of Mexico. In their evening Tropical Outlook, the National Hurricane Center believes there is now a 70% chance that a system will develop over the next five days.
The area of concern is located east of Belize today but is forecast to the in the Gulf of Mexico in the coming days. According to the National Hurricane Center, a broad surface low centered over the southeastern Yucatan Peninsula has become better defined since yesterday, and it continues to produce a large area of cloudiness and showers extending from the northwestern Caribbean Sea across Cuba into the Florida Straits. Continued slow development of this system is possible during the next couple of days as it drifts northward near the Yucatan Peninsula. Thereafter, environmental conditions are forecast to become more conducive for development, and according to the National Hurricane Center, a subtropical or tropical depression is likely to form this weekend over the eastern or central Gulf of Mexico.
Even if a system doesn’t form, heavy rain will materialize across portions of western Cuba and the Cayman Islands during the next few days, and over much of Florida and the northern Gulf Coast during the weekend. Rain will be especially heavy at times over Florida and the southeastern US over time. Should the system become better organized, even heavier rain is possible.
While the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially starts on June 1, having a system form in the days before the season isn’t completely unheard of. The first system to be named of the 2018 season will be called Alberto.