Waters around southeastern Mexico and over the south-central Atlantic have the potential to yield the next tropical systems of the 2017 hurricane season.
June 1 marked the beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season. The peak of the hurricane season spans mid-August to mid-October.
Tropical system may form near the southwestern Gulf of Mexico next week
A broad area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms over Central America will drift northward over the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico this weekend.
“This feature has a good chance to become a tropical depression and tropical storm next week,” according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.
“There are still multiple scenarios for development and track at this time,” Kottlowski said.
A clockwise flow of dry air is forecast to develop over the southeastern United States early next week. If this scenario unfolds and lingers, then Florida and the northeastern Gulf of Mexico could be sheltered from the storm.
However, if this feature is weak or breaks down, then the door could be opened for the tropical system to drift into the northeastern Gulf of Mexico.
While winds aloft over the Yucatan Peninsula, the southwestern Gulf of Mexico and the northwestern Caribbean Sea are currently too strong to allow development to occur, these disruptive winds are projected to ease next week.
Because steering winds may become light and variable an absolute track cannot be ascertained at this time.
Waters in the vicinity of the Yucatan Peninsula are sufficiently warm for tropical development. Waters in the northern and eastern Gulf of Mexico are marginal for development.
Interests from Belize and eastern Mexico throughout the Gulf coast of the U.S. should closely monitor the evolution of this system.
Tropical wave over the central Atlantic bears watching
A second area of concern in the Atlantic basin is a strong tropical wave that recently moved off the west coast of Africa.
Tropical waves are clusters of showers and thunderstorms that move westward near the equator. Over time, these clusters can begin to spin and evolve into a tropical depression, tropical storm and hurricane.
“If this tropical wave can remain south of a zone of strong westerly winds aloft and the zone of dry air near the sea surface, then it has an opportunity to develop over the next several days,” Kottlowski said.
Tropical development in this part of the Atlantic during June is rare.
Should the system begin to develop and drift on a more northwesterly course, it may encounter too much dry air and disruptive winds. In such a case, it will likely weaken.
Should the central Atlantic system take a more southern path, it will move across the Windward Islands on Sunday or Sunday night.
The next names on the list of tropical storms for the 2017 are Bret and Cindy.
Tropical Storm Arlene formed and dissipated in the middle of the Atlantic during April. Arlene never directly affected any land areas.