Hurricane in the Gulf in May? Unlikely

Weaker systems possible outside hurricane season

Weak low pressure in the Gulf is lifting clouds and rain over Florida. It has a low chance of developing into a tropical system.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The swirl on the satellite may look like tropical trouble over Florida, but for now the likelihood of it turning into a tropical system is low.

Fortunately the twirl is bringing a swath of much needed rain into Florida without high winds.

The National Hurricane Center says the broad surface low has a 30% chance of developing in 48 hours and 40% over the next five days.

Tropical systems are rare outside the hurricane season which runs from June first through November 31. The Gulf has never had a hurricane during the month of May, but the three hurricanes that have formed in May have all been off the Jacksonville coast. 

Tracks of May tropical storms(green) and tropical depressions (blue).
A handfull of May hurricanes (yellow) have all tracked east of Jacksonville.

Occasionally preseason weaker tropical storms and tropical disturbances form around Florida and in the Gulf.

When systems spin up, the structure can be a blend of both tropical and winter characteristics called a hybrid.

This week a hybrid system may develop as strong upper winds invigorate a spinning area of storms in the northern Gulf. And whether it does or not, we are still in for a week of daily downpours around the greater Jacksonville area.

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