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Tropical Depression 8 forms; Another system may brew in the Gulf of Mexico

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Tropical Depression 8 has formed east of the Carolinas, while another tropical system bears watching to develop in the Gulf of Mexico this week.

Jump to: Tropical Depression 8 forms east of the Carolinas | Prospect of development in Gulf of Mexico | Early week downpours to soak Florida, Bahamas, Cuba

Tropical Depression 8 forms east of the Carolinas

The area of low pressure spinning about 250 miles west of Bermuda has developed into Tropical Depression 8

The environment is moderately conducive for development. However, shower and thunderstorm activity has increased and a depression has formed. The depression could further strengthen into Tropical Storm Hermine early this week.

Regardless of its strength, an increase in locally drenching showers, thunderstorms and rough surf can be expected along the coast of the Carolinas on Monday and Tuesday.

Vacation plans could be spoiled and isolated flash flooding is possible.

Stronger wind shear will end any further strengthening as the depression makes its closest approach to the coast. A cold front will then likely steer the depression back into the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean at midweek.

Prospect of development in the Gulf of Mexico

Disruptive winds in the atmosphere, interaction with the mountainous Caribbean Islands and dry air prevented the tropical disturbance from organizing last week, and conditions have yet to fully improve.

"Wind shear (disruptive winds in the atmosphere) is still impacting the system, so tropical development is not imminent," AccuWeather Meteorologist Ed Vallee said.

"However, as this system moves into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico early this week, conditions will become somewhat more conducive for development."

The window for development should open starting on Monday afternoon.

The potential exists for the system to organize and strengthen into a tropical depression or storm as it churns into the central Gulf of Mexico early this week and then curves back toward the northeastern Gulf Coast later in the week.

The farther west into the central Gulf of Mexico the system tracks, the greater the potential for development.

Latest indications point toward the disturbance making landfall along the northeastern Gulf Coast between Alabama and the northwestern Florida Peninsula later this week.

"Regardless of development, enhanced showers and gusty thunderstorms can be expected with localized flooding possible along the system's path," Vallee said.

Should the disturbance intensify into a tropical storm prior to landfall, it would be accompanied onshore by a greater risk of flooding, strong winds and a storm surge.

In this scenario, the system would likey then track along the coast of Georgia and Carolinas toward and during next weekend.

All residents from the northeastern Gulf Coast to the coastal Carolinas should continue to monitor the progress of this disturbance and review what preparations are needed if a strong tropical storm threatens.

Residents of Louisiana should also keep an eye on this disturbance in the event it remains on a farther west course than currently anticipated.

Early week downpours to soak Florida, Bahamas, Cuba

Despite the system currently struggling to develop and pushing westward, Florida, Cuba and the eastern Bahamas will remain at risk for increased downpours and locally gusty thunderstorms early this week.

The increase in drenching thunderstorms will gradually spread northward across the Florida Peninsula into Tuesday, threatening to cause localized flash flooding.

Rainfall could reach 6 inches or more in some locations, especially in the Florida Keys, the far southern Florida Peninsula, Cuba and the southwestern Bahamas.

"Where the thunderstorms are more robust, there could be damaging wind gusts, power outages and rough seas," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said. Isolated waterspouts could also form.

Choppy seas and a moderate risk of rip currents is already ending this weekend at the Atlantic beaches of the southeastern U.S. due to the disturbance and another low offshore of the Carolinas that is also being monitored for development.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic, Gaston has strengthened back into a hurricane but will stay east of Bermuda early this week.

"There is a possibility this may become the first major hurricane of the season if conditions remain conducive into early week," Vallee said.

In addition, another strong tropical disturbance will move westward from Africa in the final days of August and will likely develop later in the week or during Labor Day weekend.

This disturbance may not follow in the footsteps of Gaston but instead will have to be closely monitored as it could survive the journey toward the Caribbean Islands or into the southwestern Atlantic Ocean during the first full week of September.