As the 24th named storm of a busy 2020 Atlantic hurricane season swirls off Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, forecasters monitor an area of disturbed weather in the Caribbean that could cause trouble for the Gulf of Mexico.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said it is “closely monitoring” a tropical wave currently hovering over the central Caribbean.
“This system now has a high probability of turning into a tropical depression in the next five days,” the NHC said.
TROPICAL STORM GAMMA MEANS FROM MEXICO, BRINGING FLOOD AND STORMLASH
According to forecasters, the tropical wave is a few hundred miles southeast of Jamaica with an area of showers and thunderstorms.
The system is expected to enter an area conducive to additional development, with a tropical depression likely to form the next day.
NHC forecasters say there is a 70% chance of education in the next 48 hours and an 80% chance in the next five days.
The storm is expected to move west over the central and western Caribbean Seas by Tuesday and then move into the southern or southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday evening through Wednesday.
“Heavy rainfall and gusty winds will be possible locally in parts of Hispaniola, Jamaica, Cuba and the Cayman Islands for the next few days, and interests in those islands should monitor the progress of this disruption,” the NHC said.
TROPICAL STORM GAMMA STRENGTHENS AS IT MOVES OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO
Rick Reichmuth, chief meteorologist for Fox News, says this region of the Caribbean is experiencing storms this time of year.
“We will be watching this small amount of moisture in the central Caribbean because it will likely get into the central Gulf within the next four or five days and we could be talking about a pretty significant hurricane,” Reichmuth said on Fox & Friends Weekend.
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The New Orleans National Weather Service (NWS) forecasting bureau said it was too early to see if this system will affect the Gulf Coast, but advised monitoring the system throughout the week.
Two other systems in the Atlantic have little educational opportunity over the next five days but are being monitored by the NHC.
If the system formed, it would be named “Delta,” breaking a record for the earliest 25th Atlantic storm previously ceased on November 15, 2005, according to Colorado State University’s hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach.
There are about two months left in the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which ends on November 30th. However, this season broke numerous records as forecasters ran out of traditional names in September and went to the Greek alphabet for storms Alpha and Beta.
NOAA forecasters have called for up to 25 named storms with winds of 39 mph or more this season. Seven to ten of these could turn into hurricanes. Among these hurricanes will be three to six larger ones classified as Category 3, 4, and 5 with wind speeds of 111 miles per hour or higher.
That is well over an average year. Based on data from 1981 to 2010, there are 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
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So far this year there have been 24 named storms, including eight hurricanes and of those two major hurricanes.
The last time the Greek alphabet was used in the Atlantic was in 2005, the year of Hurricane Katrina. A total of 27 storms this year used the first six letters of the Greek alphabet: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon and Zeta.
Weeks until the official end of the season, the 2020 season could set the record for most of the storms mentioned.
Janice Dean, Adam Klotz and Brandon Noriega of Fox News contributed to this report.