Weather

It's not yet hurricane season, but possible tropical systems are already brewing in the Gulf

This National Weather Service graphic shows an area of low pressure and its expected path. As of Monday afternoon it has a 30 percent chance of development over five days.
This National Weather Service graphic shows an area of low pressure and its expected path. As of Monday afternoon it has a 30 percent chance of development over five days. National Weather Service

The National Hurricane Center is keeping its eye on the eastern Gulf of Mexico and a low-pressure area with a 30 percent chance of developing into a tropical or subtropical system in the next five days.

But there's also a second low-pressure area the center is eyeing for tropical development.

"With the possibility of tropical systems back to back in the Atlantic basin would show this hurricane season hitting the ground running and yet hurricane season will have not even started yet," the National Weather Service in New Orleans said on its website.

The hurricane center announced the first disturbance Monday, less than three weeks before the June 1 start of hurricane season.

The storm system is expected to move north and bring heavy rains to the Florida panhandle, the center predicts, and rains could reach as far west as the Mississippi Coast.

If the system organizes, it could form either a tropical or subtropical system. A subtropical storm can become strong enough to have hurricane-force winds of 74 mph or more, according to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind scale.

The second possible area of tropical development is less organized, the weather service said, and it is too early to predict. The two main forecasting models show a tropical low deepening over the western Caribbean by the middle of next week.

Coast temperatures will have a high in the upper 80s through Sunday and an overnight low in the low 70s, according to the National Weather Service in New Orleans.

However, temperatures could rise Tuesday to the mid- and upper-90s in some areas with the heat index topping 100, Harrison County Emergency Management Director Rupert Lacy said. Less cloud cover on Wednesday should keep temperatures from rising so high, he said.

South Mississippi can expect daily isolated thunderstorms through Sunday, the weather service says.

Robin Fitzgerald, 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

2018 hurricane names

  • Alberto
  • Beryl
  • Chris
  • Debby
  • Ernesto
  • Florence
  • Gordon
  • Helene
  • Isaac
  • Joyce
  • Kirk
  • Leslie
  • Michael
  • Nadine
  • Oscar
  • Patty
  • Rafael
  • Sara
  • Tony
  • Valerie
  • William

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