As Tropical Bill Forms, System In Gulf Could Produce Rainy Weekend For Florida
The disorganized mass of showers could drive increased moisture across the state as it moves north near the coast of Mexico.
The second named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season formed off the coast of North Carolina, but it is a yet unnamed storm that Floridians should watch for potential impacts.
Bill strengthened into a tropical storm on Monday night and intensified early Tuesday morning, but is racing away from the US, according to the National Hurricane Center.
As of Tuesday at 5 a.m., Bill was located about 240 miles southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph with higher gusts, but the storm should weaken later Tuesday as the storm is racing to the northeast – and into the colder waters of the Atlantic -- at 31 mph.
The system in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico remained disorganized as of early Tuesday morning, but forecasters give it a 70% chance for development by the end of the week as it begins to move north.
Forecasters say it is meandering near the coast of Mexico, but should begin to move north by midweek.
The system could bring heavy rains to portions of the northern Gulf coast on Friday, and the associated moisture could mean Florida gets much-needed rain this weekend.
"We may get another boost in moisture toward the upcoming weekend depending on the eventual track of the disturbance in the southwest Gulf,” said Ray Hawthorne, meteorologist with the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network. “Our best estimate keeps this developing tropical system -- which is likely to become a depression or named storm late this week -- on a general path toward the western Gulf coast, but rain chances may go up if the system nudges more toward the east."
Forecasters are also watching a tropical wave moving off the coast of Africa that has a minimal chance of development before weakening in the open Atlantic later this week.