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Fox News Weather Center

Meteorologists Warn Southeast US Coast of Potential for Late-July Tropical Systems

Waters from the northeastern Gulf of Mexico to Bermuda in the Atlantic Ocean will remain the most likely to spawn one or more tropical systems through the end of July.

The combination of a stalled front, warm waters and occasional light winds aloft could be enough to allow tropical systems to take shape. These systems could potentially unload heavy rain and gusty winds across part of the Southeast United States coastal areas.

Tropical System Formation Possible in Western Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico

According to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski, "The disorganized area of clouds, showers and thunderstorms [associated with the front] might stay over warm water long enough for weak tropical development."

However, quick development in this area through the weekend seems unlikely.

Conditions may become more favorable for tropical development during the last week of of July.

"We suspect that strong winds aloft over the region on the Atlantic side will diminish next week, which could be enough to spur on development," Kottlowski said. "Tropical development on the Gulf side could follow if the disruptive winds diminish in that region."

Initial movement of a system on the Atlantic side would tend to be out to sea, due to steering winds. However, these winds could change over time. Movement of any system that develops in the Gulf of Mexico would tend to drift westward.

Risk of Heavy Rain, Flooding Exists Regardless of Tropical Development

Regardless of tropical depression or storm formation, the pattern will deliver drenching and locally gusty thunderstorms to part of the Southeastern United States coast.

The frequent downpours are expected to settle over Florida this weekend into the last days of July.

While Florida and its vicinity typically receive heavy storms this time of the year, the storms could be very slow-moving and unload enough rain to cause flooding problems, travel delays and disruptions to outdoor activities.

The storms forecast to frequent Florida next week will be the result of the stalled front nearby and a pocket of cool air aloft. The setup will make the atmosphere very unstable over the state.

Should a tropical system or two develop next week, potential impacts could include rough surf and strong rip currents in the coastal areas and large swells and gusty winds offshore.