NEW ORLEANS — A low pressure area over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula will drift west/northwest into the Bay of Campeche on Monday, and it could become a depression or Tropical Storm Cristobal sometime Monday night or Tuesday.
The National Hurricane Center edged up the chance of development in the southern Gulf to 90% on Monday afternoon.
The system could hover in the extreme southern Gulf through much of this work week before possibly drifting north into the central Gulf this weekend.
Forecast models do not agree with where it will ultimately go. They range from Mexico to Louisiana.
There is still a lot of uncertainty, but right now, it looks like this system may eventually send some rain to our part of the Gulf Coast from Sunday into early next week.
We will be watching it closely all week and will have many updates.
A couple of things to note:
- Any changes in strength and location will be slow over the next few days, so we have time to monitor it.
- If the system does develop wind shear could keep it messy. This means it would be mainly a rain maker. In these setups the impacts from the storm would be felt far away from the center.
Remember, it's the time of year to start seeing some activity flare up in the Caribbean and Gulf, so this would not be anything too unusual.
Check back for updates.
The official beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season is June 1. This season is predicted to be more active than average, due to factors like a potential La Nina event by September and warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures.
NOAA's forecast issued on May 21 predicts 13-19 named storms of which 6-10 would be hurricanes and 3-6 would be major hurricanes (of Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson scale).
Tropical Storm Arthur and Tropical Storm Bertha which formed in May were the first two named storms of the year in the Atlantic. This is the sixth year in a row with a named storm forming earlier than the official start of hurricane season.
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2020 Hurricane Season forecast to be active
The Atlantic Hurricane Season begins on June 1st and predictions are being made.
Colorado State University predicts an above-normal season. The forecast calls for 16 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes ( category 3 or higher). A normal season has 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
Typically when we have an El Nino wind shear is stronger and hurricane season can be less active. The reason for this above-normal forecast is the due to the lack of El Nino expected and the possibility that La Nina develops. This could lead to weaker wind shear over areas where tropical cyclones form.
Here's a look at the chance our area will see impacts from a hurricane this season. The chance that Louisiana will see impacts from a hurricane currently sits around 43%. That's lower for Mississippi at 17%. The chance a major hurricane will hit somewhere along the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle to Texas is 44%. That's up from 30% during a normal season.
Remember, it only takes one storm for it to be an active season for our area. The Gulf Coast has seen impacts during quiet seasons and no impacts during busy seasons. It's important to have a plan regardless of the forecast.