Chance of tropical cyclone development in Gulf now 90 percent, forecasters say


The National Hurricane Center has increased the chance of a tropical cyclone developing near the Yucatan or southern Gulf of Mexico over the next five days to 90% and to 60% in the next 48 hours, the National Weather Service said Sunday (June 18). However, officials said there is still a lot of uncertainty about the system currently located off the coast of Honduras.

According to the Hurricane Center, if the weather system does develop, rapid intensification is not anticipated, with possibly a strong tropical storm at best. Forecast models have been scattered, showing movement anywhere from near Brownsville, Texas, to as far east as Mobile, Ala., the Weather Service said.

A plane is scheduled to investigate the system later today, if necessary. 

If the system develops over the northern Gulf, Louisiana will at the least see an increase in winds over the coastal waters, increased seas, and well above normal tides, authorities said.

A “tropical cyclone” refers to a rotating system of clouds and thunderstorms that originates over tropical or subtropical waters and is not yet spinning fast enough to be classified as a hurricane, typhoon or cyclone, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Forecasters also are keeping an eye on showers and thunderstorms showing signs of organization in a tropical wave about 1,000 miles east-southeast of the southern Windward Islands. Some development of this system is possible during the next couple of days before environmental conditions become less favorable for tropical cyclone formation, authorities said.