Fox News Weather Center

Tropical Development Possible in Gulf of Mexico Next Week

The Gulf of Mexico, more so than East coast waters, is the area for the next potential tropical trouble maker during the middle of August.

No tropical systems are expected to impact the Gulf of Mexico through this weekend, but things could get a little interesting next week.

A vast swath of dry air and disruptive winds will continue to work against tropical storm and hurricane formation over much of the Atlantic Basin into mid-August.

This image of the eastern Atlantic Ocean showing dry air and dust from the Sahara Desert is from NASA GOES Project Science. The image was taken at 6:45 a.m. EDT, Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013.

However, a zone of light winds over the next Gulf of Mexico next week could allow a disturbance to become more organized.

As complexes of thunderstorms move over warm water they can slowly evolve a circulation. Most of these complexes move westward from Africa. A few complexes move off the East coast of the U.S. A very small number originate from the Central states and drift southward over the Gulf of Mexico. meteorologists will be watching complexes of thunderstorms that originate over the Great Plains this weekend.

Steering winds could allow one of these to turn southward toward Florida, then westward over the Gulf of Mexico early next week.

As a result, people in coastal areas from South Texas to Mexico, as well as cruise, fishing and drilling operations will want to keep an eye on the situation.

Another possibility would be for a disturbance that survives the westward trip across the Atlantic to eventually reach these more favorable conditions over the Gulf of Mexico.

Tropical systems are unlikely to turn northward toward the mid-Atlantic and New England through the middle of the month.

Conditions may change later in the month allowing more of an open door for the East Coast in terms of impact from the tropics.

While the threat for organized tropical systems may be minimal along the East coast during August, there can still be isolated areas of heavy rainfall and flooding.

August is the month where, typically the number of tropical systems ramps up. Most systems tend to form over the Atlantic, rather than the Gulf of Mexico.