The odds that a weather system will develop into a tropical or subtropical cyclone have increased, according to the National Hurricane Center. But even if the system doesn’t take on more cyclone characteristics, a very wet air mass will create flooding problems throughout a large part of the southeastern US. For now, the National Hurricane Center believes there’s a 50/50 chance that a tropical or subtropical cyclone will form in the Gulf of Mexico over the next 5 days.
Meteorologists are keeping an eye on a disturbance just east of Belize that could be problematic as it moves into the Gulf of Mexico over time. For now, just a broad surface low is centered in the waters off the Belize coast. It is currently producing a large area of cloudiness and showers extending from the northwestern Caribbean Sea across Cuba and into the Florida peninsula. Little development is expected during the next couple of days due to strong upper-level winds and proximity to the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. However, according to the National Hurricane Center, gradual subtropical or tropical development is possible late this week while the system moves slowly into the central or eastern Gulf of Mexico.
The American GFS, European ECMWF, and Canadian GEM forecast models are all suggesting some type of development with this system over time, although they all have radically different solutions with where the system goes and how strong it gets. With a weak steering environment and a mediocre environment for additional development, meteorologists don’t have much confidence in how this system will evolve over the next week.
Regardless of development, locally heavy rainfall is possible across western Cuba, the Cayman Islands, and much of Florida during the next several days. Depending on how the system develops and where it goes, that heavy rain threat could head deeper into the southeastern US or the Gulf Coast; there’s also a threat heavy rain as far north as the Mid Atlantic could fall, although that will be dependent on a variety of factors not yet completely known at this time.