The National Hurricane Center is monitoring an area in the Gulf of Mexico for possible development in the coming days. In a Special Tropical Outlook issued this evening, the National Hurricane Center says the chance for formation in the next 48 hours is nearly zero percent, but there’s a medium 40% chance of development over the next five days.
The reason for concern stems from a disturbance south and west of Cancun, Mexico; over time, it will move into the Gulf of Mexico just west of Florida. A broad surface low pressure area has formed over the northwestern Caribbean Sea a couple of hundred miles east of the coast of Belize. This low and an upper-level trough are producing widespread cloudiness and showers extending from the northwestern Caribbean Sea across Cuba and the Florida peninsula. According to the National Hurricane Center, while environmental conditions are expected to be unfavorable for development during the next couple of days, some gradual subtropical or tropical development is possible later this week while the system moves slowly northward into the central or eastern Gulf of Mexico.
Regardless of development, locally heavy rainfall is possible across western Cuba and much of Florida during the next several days. Some of that heavy rain could extend into portions of the southeastern and eastern United States over time. Because this area has already seen heavy rain in recent weeks, additional rain could amplify flooding threats over a large area.