NEW ORLEANS – A broad area of showers is beginning to become more organized in the Western Caribbean Sea, and development of this system is likely as the disturbance moves slowly over to the northwest over the Yucatan Peninsula and eventually into the Southern Gulf of Mexico.
The National Hurricane Center gives the storm a 80% chance for development over the next 48 hours and a 90% chance for development over the course of the next five days. If development occurs, the system would be known as Tropical or Sub-tropical Storm Bret or Cindy, depending on the development of Potential Tropical Cyclone 2, which is approaching the Windward Islands.
Current model analysis of the future track of the invest takes the system into the Central Gulf of Mexico. It is important to note at this time that the models DO NOT have a great handle on the system yet, as it does not have a well-defined center of circulation. Once the circulation develops, we’ll have a better idea of where the storm will be heading. Folks along the Central Gulf coast should monitor this system carefully, because the Louisiana and Mississippi coastlines are near the area hatched out by the National Hurricane Center.
2017 is the first year the National Hurricane Center is issuing products for Potential Tropical Cyclones. Sunday marked the first time the products were issued and were in conjunction with the developing system off the Windward Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. This is why we are uncertain at this time whether the system in the Gulf would be Bret or Cindy. It all depends on which system develops a well-defined, closed, center of circulation with winds great than 39 mph first.