Fox News Weather Center

Tropical storm potential to increase in Gulf of Mexico, western Caribbean into next week


One or two tropical systems may develop over the next 10 days from the central Gulf of Mexico to the central Caribbean Sea.

Because of the proximity to land, people may have little time to react and prepare for a tropical storm or hurricane.

AccuWeather meteorologists are homing in on an area for tropical development late this week into early next week.

"A tropical system may bud near or just north of the Yucatan Peninsula," according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.

Static Tropical Development Area Into Sunday


The next name on the list of tropical storms in the Atlantic for 2017 is Nate.

"Any feature that develops in this area is likely to drift toward the north or northeast," Kottlowski said.

Should a storm form and drift in the area aforementioned, Gulf Coast areas from Florida to Alabama, Mississippi and southeastern Louisiana could be at risk for damaging winds, coastal flooding, rough surf and beach erosion by early next week.

"Should the system develop just east of the Yucatan Peninsula, where waters are the warmest, we could have a powerful hurricane on our hands," Kottlowski said.

People from Belize, the Cayman Islands, southeastern Mexico and western Cuba to the United States' northern and eastern Gulf Coast should keep up to date on the situation.

If the system waits to develop much farther to the north, over the northeastern Gulf Coast, where waters are cooler and disruptive winds are present, a tropical storm or depression may struggle to strengthen.

However, even a weak tropical system could bring torrential rainfall and flash flooding.

"In lieu of a strong tropical system or flooding, beneficial rain may extend across the interior eastern U.S. next week, which could ease abnormally dry and building drought conditions in some locations," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rathbun.

Areas from the U.S. Gulf Coast to Central America and the islands in the central and western Caribbean will experience rounds of showers and thunderstorms, due to a broad area of disturbed weather over the next couple of weeks.

Static Gyre


In addition to the risk of tropical storm formation near the Yucatan Peninsula, there is another area to watch.

"We will be monitoring the southern and central Caribbean for possible development around the third week of October," Kottlowski said.

Any system that forms in that part of the Caribbean would move toward the very warm water and likely strengthen just east of the Yucatan Peninsula.

"The Atlantic basin may yield one more major (Category 3 or stronger) hurricane, which would bring the 2017 seasonal total to five," Kottlowski said.

The Atlantic basin includes the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.

AccuWeather is projecting a total of 17 tropical storms, which includes 11 hurricanes, through December 2017 in the Atlantic. Hurricane season officially ends at the end of November.

Including Maria, there have been 13 tropical storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes thus far.

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