The National Hurricane Center said a low pressure system in the Caribbean has formed into Tropical Depression 25 and could spin up to become Tropical Storm Gamma.
As of 11 a.m. EDT, the system was located about 220 miles southeast of Cozumel, Mexico with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph moving northwest at 9 mph.
A tropical storm warning was issued for the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico from Punta Herrero to Cabo Catoche while a tropical storm watch is in place for south of Punta Herrero to Puerto Costa Maya and west of Cabo Catoche to Dzilam.
The storm is expected to turn north-northwest and slow down its forward speed over the next couple of days, forecasters said.
“On the forecast track, the center of the tropical cyclone should be near the northeastern Yucatan Peninsula on Saturday,” said senior hurricane specialist Richard Pasch. “Some strengthening is forecast, and the depression is expected to become a tropical storm by Saturday morning.”
If it does, with sustained winds of 39 mph or greater, it will be named Tropical Storm Gamma, the third storm of the busy 2020 hurricane season to rely on the Greek alphabet after having already blown through the 21 designated storm names puss Subtropical Storm Alpha and Tropical Storm Beta by Sept. 18.
The hurricane season runs through Nov. 30, and there’s a chance it could become the busiest season on record, topping the 27 named storms of the 2005 season.
As far TD 25, it’s expected to produce 4-8 inches of rainfall with some isolated areas of 12 inches in both the Yucatan and far western Cuba, the NHC said. A separate are of rain is expected to develop away from the center and to the west in the Mexican states of Campeche, Tabasco, and northern Chiapas, with potential for rainfall up to 20 inches.
“This rainfall may produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides,” Pasch said.
The NHC is also tracking another system with potential to form into a tropical system, located farther east in the Caribbean.
The tropical wave is producing a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms with heavy rain and gusts, forecast to move west at 15 to 20 mph.
“Environmental conditions could become a little more conducive for development when the system is over the central or western Caribbean Sea early next week,” Pasch said.
It has a 30% chance of forming into either a tropical depression or tropical storm in the next five days.
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