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WUSF is part of the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network, which provides up-to-the minute weather and news reports during severe weather events on radio, online and on social media for 13 Florida Public Media stations. It’s available on WUSF 89.7 FM, online at WUSFNews.org and through the free Florida Storms app, which provides geotargeted live forecasts, information about evacuation routes and shelters, and live local radio streams.

Tropical Development Possible in the Gulf of Mexico This Week

Monday 8 am Update:The National Hurricane Center has increased the chances of tropical development in the Bay of Campeche to 80 percent, and Senior Hurricane Specialist Dan Brown says that a new tropical depression is “likely to form within the next day or so”. 

Original story published Sunday evening: The National Hurricane Center will be watching the southern Gulf of Mexico closely this week, where forecasters say a tropical storm could form by Wednesday or Thursday.

A large area of showers and thunderstorms were observed on satellite Sunday across Central America, where a weak area of low pressure was present. Embedded in the broader circulation was the remnants of Tropical Storm Amanda, a short-lived Eastern Pacific cyclone that moved ashore in Guatemala Sunday morning.

Most reliable forecast model simulations indicate some degree of tropical cyclone formation in the Gulf of Mexico by midweek. A few of the more recent runs of those models even suggest there will be an opportunity for intensification of the potential storm before possible landfall somewhere along the Gulf Coast from Texas to the Florida Panhandle.

While it would not be credible at this time to project where the newest potential storm may track or how strong it could become, it’s never too early to prepare for what NOAA says is likely to be a busy season ahead.  If a tropical storm forms in the Gulf of Mexico this week, it would acquire the name Cristobal (pronounced krees-TOH-bahl).

The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins Monday, but two named storms have already come and gone during the month of May. Both tropical storms Arthur and Bertha developed east of Florida and affected parts of the Carolinas with heavy rain, rough seas and gusty winds.

The Florida 2020 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday runs through June 4, and the Florida Department of Revenue has published a list of items that qualify as tax-free. You can also use the Florida Storms app and tap the “Get Ready” banner for a complete guide on preparing your home and family for a possible life-altering event.

The Florida Public Radio Emergency Network team of meteorologists will be monitoring forecast trends around the clock this week and over the six-month season ahead to keep you informed of every development. 

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