A low pressure system that developed over Tennessee and moved south into Alabama and Georgia is likely to strengthen into a tropical depression or storm during the next five days, the National Hurricane Center said Monday.
The trough had moved south into central Georgia by Monday morning and is forecast to move further south toward the northeastern Gulf of Mexico, the hurricane center in a tropical weather outlook.
“A tropical depression is likely to form by the end of the week while the low meanders near the northern Gulf Coast,” the outlook said.
The weather system is being given a 80% chance of development over the next five days — that’s a 20% jump from Sunday’s advisory.
It’s unknown if formation would reach tropical storm strength, but if so it would be named Barry.
Development or not, heavy rain can be expected along the northern Gulf Coast and the Florida Peninsula.
South Florida’s weather forecast as of early Monday calls for temperatures in the upper 80s and the typical summer pattern that could include thunderstorms and heavy rain during the afternoon and evening hours throughout most of the week.
Storms that form early in the season tend to arise closer to North America than those that develop in the late summer and fall. Those later storms typically become depressions and tropical storms in the Atlantic, giving South Florida plenty of time to track and dread their progress.
South Florida was unscathed through the 2018 hurricane season, but in 2017 we weathered a hit from Hurricane Irma, which struck the Keys brushed along the Gulf Coast, battering most of the state. The storm killed 72 people across Florida, including a dozen residents at a Hollywood nursing home that lost its air conditioning as Irma passed.
This year’s hurricane forecast predicts between nine and 15 named storms, four to eight of which would be hurricanes. Between two and four are predicted to be major hurricanes, category 3 or higher.