A cyclone appears to be brewing in the Gulf of Mexico, meteorologists say – and it could make landfall this week anywhere from Texas to the Florida panhandle.
Warm sea surface temperatures and a lowering in disruptive winds mean there’s an 80 per cent chance the system will strengthen this week, experts said – meaning bad news for those on the Gulf coast.
If the storm system does come, it will likely make landfall on Wednesday or Thursday, bringing with it flooding, high winds and rough seas, AccuWeather reported.
There is an 80 per cent chance that a cyclone will develop in the Gulf of Mexico, then head inland and touch down on Wednesday or Thursday, experts say
It could go north and strike everywhere from the Florida panhandle across to Florida, or head westward and hit west Louisiana, Texas and northeastern Mexico
The farther the weather system moves from Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, the higher the chance it will form a tropical storm.
But only once it has actually formed will meteorologists be able to track an actual predicted route for the storm.
One possible scenario sees the weather system forming over the center of the Gulf of Mexico, then being pulled northward, hitting everywhere from the Florida panhandle to Louisiana.
Another sees it heading in a westward direction, toward the coasts of northeastern Mexico, Texas or western Louisiana.
The third option is the best for locals: Winds remain sufficiently disruptive above the sea’s surface that the storm system is unable to form at all.
If the storm system does develop, however, experts warn that the whole of the gulf coast region may be affected.
‘It will be important to focus not necessarily on the exact track, as strong winds high in the atmosphere will pull shower and thunderstorm activity well away from the low center,’ explained AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
That could mean a risk of dangerous flooding, rough seas and damaging winds across the region.
And whatever happens, Florida looks like it’s in for a rough time regardless.
‘Enough tropical moisture will spread from the Florida Peninsula to the Florida Panhandle and more of the central Gulf coast as the week progresses,’ Sosnowski said.
‘People in this area should be prepared for rounds of torrential rain that can lead to dangerous flooding and travel disruptions.’
A second tropical storm seems to be developing near Trinidad and Tobago in a rare June double event. The Gulf storm is the left-hand ‘X’, while the Trinidad storm is in the center
Unusually, a second tropical storm looks set to form in the Atlantic as the same time as the Gulf of Mexico cyclone.
It’s set to rock Trinidad and Tobago, as well as other southeastern Caribbean islands with heavy rain and strong winds.
‘It’s not so uncommon to get a named storm in the Atlantic during June,’ Weather Underground told USA Today. ‘But it’s remarkable to have two potential tropical cyclones at the same time during mid-June.’
The next names available on the list of tropical storms in the Atlantic basin are Bret and Cindy. They come after Arelene, in April.
Bad weather and choppy seas are expected to build up on the Gulf Coast from now through to Thursday regardless of which direction the possible cyclone may move in