Trouble may be brewing in Gulf

HOUSTON - There's a 70 percent chance that a tropical disturbance may form in the Gulf of Mexico in the next 48 hours.

According to the National Hurricane Center, there's a broad area of low pressure near the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico that is producing a large area of thunderstorms from the Yucatan Peninsula northeastward across western Cuba and up to southern Florida.

Forecasters said upper level winds are expected to become conducive for tropical development as the system moves into the central Gulf of Mexico.

"Two models we are looking at are the GFS (Global Forecast System) and the ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts).  Over the next three days, both models develop the system. The big difference is that that the ECMWF makes it a hurricane and the GFS does not," KPRC Local 2 meteorologist Anthony Yanez said. "While it's not impossible, the strong hurricane forecast in the deterministic run ECMWF early next week is unlikely."

If the system becomes a named storm, it would be known as Debby.

There will be a benefit for surfers over the weekend.

"With low deepening in the Gulf at the same time high pressure is building over Texas, the gradient will increase offshore, thus bigger waves and elevated tides likely impact our area," Yanez said.

If it forms, where will it go?

"It remains to be seen where it would go, but there's two possibilities," KPRC Local 2 hurricane expert meteorologist Bill Read said. "The most likely one from the models today, for the next couple days at least, is in the eastern Caribbean. We also haven't considered, if it doesn't develop at all, maybe coming back to the west."


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