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We’ll likely see a tropical storm in the Gulf by weekend

Watching the Gulf

Tropical development in the western Gulf of Mexico is likely either Thursday or Friday.
Tropical development in the western Gulf of Mexico is likely either Thursday or Friday.

The National Hurricane Center is watching a disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico that appears on track to be the third tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season before Monday. There is a 90% chance of formation by Friday and 90% chance over the next five days.

If a storm does develop, it will be named Claudette.

Whether this system reaches the 39 mph threshold necessary to be a named storm, it could bring 6 to 10 inches of rain to east coastal Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama or the Florida Panhandle as it comes ashore.

NWS 7-day rainfall forecast.

National Hurricane Center outlook at 8 a.m. Thursday

A broad area of low pressure over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico is producing widespread but disorganized cloudiness, showers, and thunderstorms. This system is expected to move northward, and a tropical or subtropical depression is likely to form over the west-central Gulf of Mexico tonight or early Friday. "

“An Air Force Reserve Unit reconnaissance aircraft is scheduled to investigate the disturbance this afternoon, if necessary. Regardless of development, heavy rainfall will continue over portions of Central America and southern Mexico during the next few days. Heavy rains should also begin to affect portions of the northern Gulf Coast on Friday. Please consult products from your local meteorological service for more information.”

Formation chance through 48 hours - high - 90%.

Formation chance through five days - high - 90%.

About the Authors:

Our chief meteorologist lives and breathes the weather on the First Coast.

Danielle forecasts the weather on the weekends and reports on climate, environment and other issues during the week