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Fox News Weather Center

Watching the Gulf for First Week of Hurricane Season

The 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season is officially under way and already AccuWeather.com meteorologists are monitoring the potential for development in the Gulf of Mexico.

The tropics are currently quiet with disruptive wind shear (strong winds high in the atmosphere) in place and preventing development.

However, there are signs that the wind shear will lessen enough for a broad area of disturbed weather to attempt to organize into a tropical depression over the central Gulf of Mexico by midweek.

Latest indications point toward this feature crossing Florida around the Wednesday to Friday timeframe of the upcoming week.

Such a depression would acquire the name "Andrea" if it then strengthens into a tropical storm.

The good news is that wind shear should increase again as the system approaches Florida, which would prevent it from intensifying into a strong tropical storm or hurricane.

Even if a tropical depression fails to develop, drenching thunderstorms should still take aim at Florida during the middle to latter half of the workweek.

The accompanying downpours could cause problems for travelers and flash flooding in poor drainage areas, but would be still be welcome across central and northern Florida where numerous wildfires are burning.

All interests across Florida and the eastern Gulf of Mexico should continue to check back with AccuWeather.com for the latest on the potential for the tropics to come alive.

For the season as a whole, AccuWeather.com long-range forecasting team predicts 16 named tropical storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes. Of these, three named storms are predicted to make landfall in the United States.