Forecasters are keeping an eye on an area of low pressure that could develop in the Gulf of Mexico related to the remnants of Hurricane Agatha in the Pacific and has the potential to bring heavy rain to Florida by the weekend.
Agatha became the first hurricane of the Pacific season on Sunday not far from Mexico's southern coast and made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane Monday, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Agatha will always be a Pacific storm no matter where it ends up. It will cross over to Mexico and die out in the process.
According to the NHC, a large and complex area of low pressure is expected to develop across Central America, the Yucatan Peninsula, and the southwest Gulf of Mexico in a few days, partially related to the remnants of Agatha.
"Some gradual development is possible within this system in the far southwest Gulf of Mexico around mid-week or in the northwest Caribbean by the latter part of this week as it drifts eastward or northeastward," the Hurricane Center said in Monday's tropical weather outlook.
The Hurricane Center is giving the system a 50% chance of development in the next five days in an area well to the south of Florida.
If development happens, we would get a first tropical depression, and then if the winds get to 39 mph, it would become Tropical Storm Alex, an Atlantic storm. Some of the moisture from Agatha could be the building blocks for the future Alex but these will always be two distinct systems.
The latest models do show that Alex is more and more likely, but probably not until it gets past South Florida. So what we will be dealing with this weekend is — best-case scenario — an open wave that slides south and enhances the moisture a bit. The worst-case scenario would be a closed low, possibly a depression crossing the peninsula.
Regardless of whether it develops, heavy rain is possible in Florida by the weekend. Tropical storm conditions are not expected at this time – just a lot of rain Friday and Saturday, and dry air whipping in Sunday behind the storm.
There is always still the possibility that Agatha’s remnants can’t really get their act together – but just looking at our models, both GFS and European agree that Alex is likely; it's just too soon to say exactly when that happens.
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