While we could have two simultaneous storms in the Gulf this week, neither pose a threat to the Tampa Bay area at this time.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla — The Gulf of Mexico will be a bit crowded this week.
An area of disturbed weather in the central Caribbean formed into Tropical Depression 26 Sunday evening. It will likely strengthen into Tropical Storm Delta Monday.
The system is moving west-northwest at 9 mph with sustained winds at 35 mph. The latest track has it heading into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday night and strengthening into a hurricane.
A tropical storm warning has been issued for the Cayman Islands, and hurricane and tropical storm watches are in effect for parts of Cuba.
Gulf Coast residents need to keep their eye on this one. The latest forecast has the storm strengthening into a Category 2 hurricane by midweek. There is still plenty of uncertainty with this system, but nonetheless, it poses a potential threat to the central Gulf coastline.
Although some forecast models have been rather bullish with intensity, the cold wake from Tropical Storm Gamma and upwelling from Hurricane Sally have cooled the Gulf waters significantly. Those cooler shelf waters could hinder rapid intensification upon landfall, but conditions are still very conducive to development.
Once Delta forms, there will be better clarity on forecast track and intensity.
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Gamma will be close by in the western Gulf, and it could have some influence on Delta.
Don’t forget, we still have two months of hurricane season left, so we’ll need to stay aware through Nov. 30. October can be a busy month for tropical development, especially in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.
We have now had 24 named storms this year, including three Greek letter storms.
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