A tropical system near Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula continues to be closely monitored for development and to bring building seas and downpours along the Gulf of Mexico coast this week.
Development chances will increase for the system to become the next depression or tropical storm in the Atlantic Basin after it reaches the southern Gulf of Mexico Monday.
As the system moves from near the Yucatan Peninsula to the Gulf, heavy rain will continue to threaten western Cuba with flooding rain. Locally flooding downpours will also graze the Yucatan.
“Lessening disruptive winds over the Gulf of Mexico, combined with very warm sea-surface temperatures, will give the system an opportunity to strengthen and organize over the next day or two,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski said.
Exactly where the system fully organizes will determine its future track.
The system may take shape over the central Gulf of Mexico and be pulled northward to the central Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle to Louisiana. Another scenario takes the system on a more northwestward track toward the coasts of far northern Mexico, Texas or western Louisiana.
Landfall along the Gulf Coast would likely be around Wednesday or Thursday.
Downpours and seas will increase as the system develops and strengthens.
However, there is likely to be just enough disruptive wind above the surface to prevent the system from rapidly intensifying.
Regardless, residents along the Gulf Coast should prepare for possible flooding downpours, rough seas and locally damaging winds from a tropical depression or storm.
Worse than ruining vacation plans, lives and property may be threatened.
“It will be important to not necessarily focus on the exact track as stronger winds high in the atmosphere will pull shower and thunderstorm activity well away from the low center,” Pydynowski said.
It is possible that the heaviest downpours can target communities about a few hundred miles east and northeast of the system's center.
As the system moves into the Gulf, enough tropical moisture will spread across the southern and central Florida Peninsula to trigger locally flooding downpours into Monday. Heavy rain may reach the central Gulf Coast by Tuesday.
“We continue to advise that all interests along the Gulf Coast of eastern Mexico and the United States should continue to carefully monitor the progression of this system,” Pydynowski said.
Another tropical system in the central Atlantic Ocean is also attempting to bring the basin to life early this week before it reaches Trinidad and Tobago Monday night into early Tuesday.
The next names on the list of tropical storms in the Atlantic Basin for 2017 are Bret and Cindy, following Arlene from April.