WRUF Weather

Tracking the Tropics: Watching Gulf closely this week

History says a storm forms in the Gulf or western Caribbean about once every two years and it usually moves west toward Texas or crosses the Florida peninsula. (NOAA)

Hurricane season began Saturday and it didn’t take long for something to catch our eye.  WRUF has actually been watching the long range forecast models for a couple of weeks now. The Gulf of Mexico and western Caribbean are a typical breeding ground for a tropical cyclone during the month of June about every other year.  So it only makes sense that these are the areas we are watching closely.  At this time, tropical development is only a possibility. However, no matter what happens, an active week of weather is expected for Florida.



  • Tropical development, if any, would occur Tuesday or Wednesday
  • *IF* a tropical storm forms, it would impact parts of Florida Thursday or Friday
  • No matter what forms (or doesn’t form), heavy rains are expected at times for much of the state.


Two possible scenarios to the forecast this week in the tropics, as produced by WRUF Weather.

The remnants of Hurricane Barbara that made landfall in Mexico last week have drifted into the southern Gulf of Mexico and are now crossing the Yucatan Peninsula.  A large pool of deep tropical moisture is being pulled northward into the eastern Gulf, and this will likely interact with an approaching front to deliver periods of heavy rain to North Florida this week.  This weakening front will likely leave behind an area of lower pressure in the southern Gulf of Mexico that will have to be watched closely mid-week.  Several forecast models suggest only a broad and weak area of low pressure will develop, revealing that strong wind shear will prevent tropical cyclone formation (scenario #2 in the above graphic).  However, a few (what we call) outliers do show a formidable tropical storm developing in the central Gulf by mid-week.  Even though this is not the preferred forecast solution, we will diligently watch all future forecast data and keep you updated.

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