80% Chance We’ll Have Alex by the Weekend. Don’t Panic.

The remnants of Hurricane Agatha have made their way through the Yucatan Peninsula and are now a disorganized blob near the southern edge of the Gulf of Mexico.

The National Hurricane Center says there’s now an 80% chance that the system gets its act back together over the open water and becomes a tropical depression, and maybe even Tropical Storm Alex, by the weekend.

The early thinking is that this is not expected to be major hurricane… and probably won’t even reach hurricane status at all. The eventual path is still a subject of some disagreement, though the models generally point towards the center staying a good bit south of the Orlando area. Given the low level of expected eventual development, it’s likely to be a large, sloppy system that could bring heavy rains to parts of Florida, along with a few gusty squall lines. Exactly where the heaviest rains will be is, again, in doubt.

So for now, your key messages are:

  • There will likely be a tropical system forming in the Gulf of Mexico by week’s end
  • It will likely not become a major concern, but could bring some heavy rain and a few gusty storms
  • The exact area affected is yet to be determined.

You might be wondering why the storm would be named Alex if it was already known as Agatha. The storm originally formed in the Pacific, so it earned the first “A” name from this year’s Pacific list. It made landfall in Mexico, dissipated, and would re-form on the Atlantic side of the world; that’s enough to give it the first “A” name on this year’s Atlantic list. But we all know it was…

Well, you know.

(Glad we got that out of our system).

Here’s the NHC’s synopsis as of 8PM Wednesday night.

Near the Yucatan Peninsula and Southeastern Gulf of Mexico: 
A broad area of low pressure located near the east coast of the 
Yucatan Peninsula is producing a large area of disorganized showers 
and thunderstorms over the northwestern Caribbean Sea and Yucatan 
Peninsula.  Despite strong upper-level winds, gradual development is 
forecast and this system is likely to become a tropical depression 
while it moves slowly northeastward over the northwestern Caribbean 
Sea and southeastern Gulf of Mexico during the next day or two.  
Regardless of development, locally heavy rainfall is likely across 
portions of the Yucatan Peninsula during the next day or so, 
spreading across western Cuba, South Florida, and the Florida Keys 
on Friday and Saturday. Interests in the Yucatan Peninsula, western 
Cuba, the Florida Keys, and the Florida Peninsula should monitor the 
progress of this system.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...high...80 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...high...80 percent.

Elsewhere, east of the Bahamas, another area of unsettled weather has a low potential of development; if it does form, it will move away from the US.

Keep calm and carry on!

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