A significant hurricane is possible in the Gulf of Mexico in the coming days as a tropical cyclone takes shape near the Caribbean today and tomorrow. The National Hurricane Center believes this disturbance has a 90% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone within the next 48 hours and computer forecast guidance suggests it’ll intensify into a significant hurricane over time and threaten the United States.
According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), shower and thunderstorm activity continues to become better organized in association with a trough of low pressure located less than 200 miles south of Jamaica. Environmental conditions remain conducive for development, and a tropical depression or storm is expected to form later today or tomorrow. This system is forecast to move northwestward over the northwestern Caribbean Sea near the Cayman Islands tonight, near Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico on Friday, and into the Gulf of Mexico this weekend.
With an ideal environment for organization and intensification, the National Hurricane Center says that Tropical Storm Warnings and/or Watches may become necessary for portions of the Cayman Islands and Cuba later today.
Even in the unlikely event a tropical cyclone doesn’t take shape over the next 48 hours, locally heavy rainfall and flooding will be possible over portions of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands today and tonight, and will likely spread across Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula on Friday.
Beyond the end of this week, the National Hurricane Center warns that this system could bring dangerous impacts from storm surge, wind, and heavy rainfall to portions of the coasts of Louisiana, Texas, and the Mexican state of Tamaulipas late this weekend and early next week.
To better understand this system and the atmospheric environment it is within, an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft is scheduled to investigate the system later today, if necessary.