Hurricane center says storm ‘likely’ to develop in Gulf soon


The probabilities are up to 90 percent that something is going to get going in the Gulf of Mexico soon.

That’s according to the National Hurricane Center in its latest tropical update.

A Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance aircraft is scheduled to take a closer look at what forecasters are calling Invest 93L this afternoon.

As of Sunday morning it is a broad area of stormy weather with an associated low pressure system located over the northwest Caribbean. It’s been slowly moving to the northwest and is headed for the Gulf once it crosses Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

The hurricane center thinks it will continue to get its act together and said a tropical or subtropical depression or storm is likely to form by Monday or Tuesday after it gets into the Gulf.

A storm has to have a closed center of circulation and sustained winds of 39 mph to be considered a tropical (or subtropical) storm and get a name. The next name on the list is Bret.

The National Weather Service in Mobile was closely following the system but said it’s still too early to say if it would affect Alabama. Models typically have a tougher time getting a handle on a system’s path until it gets a closed circulation.

Name or no name, the hurricane center said Invest 93L will dump a lot of rain on parts of Central America, the Yucatan Peninsula, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and western Cuba over the next several days.

That storm isn’t the only thing cooking in the Atlantic, either.

A second tropical wave continued to track westward across the central Atlantic on Sunday morning and may get its own visit from the Hurricane Hunters on Monday.

This one is being called Invest 92L, and on Sunday morning it was located about 1,000 miles east-southeast of the southern Windward Islands.

It wasn’t looking as robust as it has, with limited storms appearing on satellite on Sunday morning, and its chances of development were 50 percent over the next five days. That’s down from 70 percent.

The hurricane center said there’s a window for 92L to develop, but it won’t last much longer.

The system is expected to move into an area less conducive for strengthening in the next few days.

Regardless, the hurricane center cautioned those in the Windward Islands and northern South America to keep an eye on it.

If a tropical storm were to form there, it would be a first. The hurricane center has no record of any storm forming that far to the east at this point in June.

The Atlantic hurricane season began June 1 and typically reaches its peak in early September.