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Hurricane Center Forecasts a Possibility of Tropical Depression in the Caribbean Moving to Mexico

Despite unusually hot waters, forecasters expect a “near normal” hurricane season in 2023. Michael Laughlin/Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Hurricane Center  Forecasters say a growing tropical system in the Caribbean – which isn’t even a depression or storm yet – is moving toward the Gulf of Mexico and might affect Florida by next week.

The National Hurricane Weather is giving the system a 70% chance of development within the next seven days. (Source: USA Today)

Forming of Tropical Depression Increases According to National Hurricane Center Forecast

“The likelihood of a tropical depression or storm forming has increased, particularly for later this weekend into early next week,” said Chris Dolce, a meteorologist with “This system would most likely impact Florida on Tuesday or Wednesday, but the magnitude of any impacts is too early to determine.” Idalia will be the next named storm during the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season.

According to University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy, who wrote on his blog that last year’s storm named Ian also came from the western Caribbean and headed for the west coast of the Florida peninsula, there is no indication of anything similar happening this time around.

What does the Hurricane Center have to say? The National Hurricane Center forecasts the development of this system, giving it an 80% chance of formation: “Environmental conditions appear conducive to the gradual development of this system over the next several days, and a tropical depression is likely to form late this weekend or early next week while moving generally northward over the northwestern Caribbean Sea and eastern Gulf of Mexico.”

“Interests in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, western Cuba, and Florida should monitor the progress of this system,” the National Hurricane Center stated. While the Gulf waters are warm enough for a depression or storm to form, wind shear is a probable limiting factor, according to Dolce: Wind shear is the variation in wind speed and direction with height, and it is usually a hostile component that prevents storm formation, according to him. “The likelihood of a hurricane hitting Florida is low at this time,” Dolce said. With Florida potentially in the line of the hurricane, officials have begun to prepare. On Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ official agenda showed him speaking with Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie.

READ ALSO: Tropical Storm Hilary Hits Dodger Stadium Resulting to Rescheduling of Games

States are Being for the Possibility of Tropical Depression

Later, DeSantis said on X, previously Twitter, “I’ve directed @KevinGuthrieFL & the FL Emergency Management team to prepare for a potential tropical system currently moving across the Yucatán Peninsula.” Residents should remain cautious and prepare for potential consequences early next week.”

“Spaghetti models” refer to a wide range of forecasting models. As of Friday afternoon, the models depicted below are estimates based on previous storm performance and possible wind shear, rather than the high-level ensemble models forecasters use to project a course after a storm begins.

Tropical Storm Franklin is still spinning in the Atlantic Ocean. According to the hurricane center, Franklin is forecast to stay far out at sea before strengthening into a hurricane during the next three days. Franklin’s only expected impact in the United States will be along the Atlantic coast, with severe surf and coastal erosion being the main consequences. “Tropical Cyclone Franklin is forecast to pass well east of NC Monday into Tuesday and produce long-period swell across NC waters,” the North Carolina Weather Service prediction office says. This swell, paired with a King Tide cycle early next week, has the potential to trigger beach erosion and ocean overwash around the Outer Banks.” A pair of tropical disturbances far out to sea in the Atlantic are also unlikely to reach land, according to the hurricane center. By early next week, one of these could become a tropical depression.

READ ALSO: NOAA Releases Weather Prediction for the Last Quarter of the Year

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