New tropical system possible with South Florida in its path

Meteorologists at the Pennsylvania-based AccuWeather are watching for potential tropical development in the Gulf of Mexico as an area of showers and thunderstorms is expected to form up in the coming week.

(The National Hurricane Center has increased the chances of this system to 30 percent. See forecast here. )

AccuWeather was one of the first companies to forecast what would become Tropical Storm Bonnie.

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Today, AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said areas from Central America, to southeastern Mexico and South Florida should keep an eye open for cyclonic development.

See the catastrophic storms that broke Florida’s previous hurricane droughts.

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Water temperatures in the area being watched are in the lower to mid 80s – warm enough to feed a tropical cyclone.

“We are suspicious about the area near Central America because it is in a region where we often see tropical development during June,” according to AccuWeather hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski. “However, because the system has not formed yet and it is likely to remain weak into early next week, a definitive track cannot be ascertained just yet.”

Areas in the Gulf and off the eastern coast of Florida are notorious for breeding early storms.

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But AccuWeather is cautioning not to cancel vacation plans.

“It is merely something to keep an eye on,” Kottlowski said.

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NOAA is forecasting a near normal hurricane season, which is a change from the below average season Florida enjoyed last year when El Nino dominated the weather patterns.

On Friday, NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan wrestled with calling the storm season that begins June 1 “normal,” fearing people will underestimate the potential and compare it to recent below-average years.

“Near normal may seem encouraging and relaxed, but the predicted level of activity compared to the past three years actually suggests we could be in for more activity than we’ve seen in previous years,” Sullivan said. “A near level season does not mean we are off the hook.”

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