ORLANDO, Fla. — The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on Thursday and the National Hurricane Center has begun to track a system with potential to form into the next tropical depression or storm.
In a 2 p.m. EDT Tuesday tropical outlook, the NHC said an area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms in the Gulf of Mexico related to a surface trough headed east toward Florida could develop in the next week.
“Environmental conditions appear only marginally favorable for additional development over the next several days as the system meanders over the eastern Gulf ofMexico,” said NHC forecasters. “The system is then forecast to move across the Florida peninsula this weekend and emerge into the southwestern Atlantic Ocean by early next week.”
Florida can expect heavy rain and wind gusts whether or not it develops. The state has already endured a week of heavy rain and some flooding from another system the NHC tracked as it moved offshore over the weekend and migrated up toward the southeastern U.S. coast.
The NHC gives this new system a 10% chance of forming in the next two days, and 20% within the next week.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, but the NHC reviewed data from a January storm and confirmed it was technically the season’s first tracked system, an unnamed subtropical storm.
So the first tropical depression of the season would be named Tropical Depression Two, and the first named system of the year would be Tropical Storm Arlene.