National Hurricane Center: High chance for tropical development in the Gulf of Mexico
A broad area of low pressure is slowly becoming better organized in the Caribbean, near the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) gives this tropical wave a high chance of development by the Memorial Day Weekend.
As of Wednesday evening, the NHC increased the 5 day odds for tropical or subtropical formation from a 60% to 70% chance. While there are still a few factors holding that development back, conditions are expected to become more conducive for this low to take on tropical characteristics over the coming days.
Here is the 6pm CDT advisory (Wednesday 5/22/2018):
A broad surface low centered over the southeastern Yucatan Peninsula has become better defined since yesterday, and it continues to produce a large area of cloudiness and showers extending from the northwestern Caribbean Sea across Cuba into the Florida Straits. Continued slow development of this system is possible during the next couple of days as it drifts northward near the Yucatan Peninsula. Thereafter, environmental conditions are forecast to become more conducive for development, and a subtropical or tropical depression is likely to form this weekend over the eastern or central Gulf of Mexico.
Regardless of development, locally heavy rainfall is possible across western Cuba and the Cayman Islands during the next few days, and over much of Florida and the northern Gulf Coast during the weekend. For more information on the heavy rain threat, please see products issued by your local weather office.
• Formation chance through 48 hours...low...10 percent.
• Formation chance through 5 days...high...70 percent.
Tropical system or now, this is expected to be a big rain maker for the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Florida & the Southeastern US through the long weekend. 4" to 7" of rain is forecast to fall by Wednesday evening.
At this time, this is not a concern / expected to impact the Texas Coast. The Brazos Valley forecast goes the opposite direction -- sunshine, low rain chance, and hotter highs in the upper 90s to near 100°.
The next Special Tropical Weather Outlook on this system will by issued by 7am CDT Thursday.