A tropical depression is likely to form in or near the Gulf of Mexico this weekend, the National Hurricane Center said Thursday morning.
It’s one of two disturbances forecasters were tracking, and it’s too early to tell if either system could impact Louisiana or the Gulf Coast.
The other disturbance is in the Atlantic and expected to head to the Caribbean.
The shaded area on the graphic is where a storm could develop and is not a track. The National Hurricane Center releases a track when a tropical depression forms or is about to form.
Here’s what to know about the tropics as of 7 a.m. Thursday.
Tropical depression likely to form
A disturbance in the Caribbean has a 70% chance of developing into a tropical depression within five days, forecasters said.
As of 7 a.m. Thursday, the disturbance — a tropical wave — was over the west-central Caribbean and was producing a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms.
Environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for development, according to Robbie Berg, a hurricane specialist with the National Hurricane Center.
A tropical depression is likely to form over the northwestern Caribbean Sea or the south-central Gulf of Mexico, Berg wrote, possibly before the system reaches the Yucatan peninsula on Saturday.
Residents in Belize, the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico and western Cuba should monitor this disturbance, forecasters said.
Disturbance heading for Caribbean
Another tropical wave is just east of the Lesser Antilles and is producing a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms, forecasters said.
The disturbance is expected to move west at 15 to 20 mph during the next several days.
Environmental conditions could become a little more conducive for development when the system is over the central or western Caribbean Sea early next week, forecasters said.
It has a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression within five days.
What else to know?
Systems are named once they strengthen into a tropical storm. The next available name is Gamma. Forecasters moved to the Greek alphabet in September after using all the available names for the 2020 Atlantic season.
For those thinking the turn of the calendar to Oct. 1 means the end of hurricane threats for south Louisiana, it’s time to reconsider, if hist…
No other tropical cyclones are expected to form in the next five days in the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
The Atlantic hurricane season ends Nov. 30.
Read the full outlook.
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Carlie Kollath Wells is a morning reporter at NOLA.com and The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate.