Disturbance expected to grow into Gulf hurricane, while tropical storm hovers off Mexico
While Tropical Storm Gamma is nearly stationary just north of the Yucatan Peninsula, there is one more disturbance quickly growing in the Caribbean Sea, the National Hurricane Center said Sunday.
None are currently an immediate threat to South Florida. But one of the disturbances, Potential Tropical Cyclone Twenty-Six, is growing fast and could turn into a hurricane as it approaches the northern Gulf Coast later this week.
The system has already triggered a Hurricane Watch for parts of western Cuba, while a Tropical Storm warning is in effect for the Cayman Islands and Havana.
It could affect Louisiana and the western Florida Panhandle, which is still recovering from Hurricane Sally, a Category 2 storm.
Meteorologists said in a 5 p.m. advisory that the new disturbance forming about 100 miles south of Jamaica has an 80% chance of becoming a tropical depression in the next few days, as it continues to move through Jamaica and approach western Cuba by late Tuesday.
Tropical storm conditions could affect the Cayman Islands starting late Monday, the NHC advisory said.
“Regardless of development, locally heavy rainfall and gusty winds will be possible across portions of Hispaniola, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and Cuba during the next few days,” the advisory said.
Gamma, which is just offshore from southeastern Mexico, is expected to bring heavy rains to the region, which could result in life-threatening flash floods and mudslides in parts of Mexico and nearby Central American countries, forecasters said in a 4 p.m. advisory. It is packing maximum sustained winds of about 60 mph.
Separately, two other disturbances in the middle of the Atlantic are unlikely to grow over the next week. One of the disorganized systems, which has about 10% chance of forming in the next 48 hours, is about 1,000 miles east-southeast of Bermuda and is moving west-southwest about 10 mph.