Tropical wave in Caribbean could become Tropical Storm Gamma this weekend

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There are no immediate tropical threats to the Texas coast or American mainland at this time, but we will want to watch this closely.

HOUSTON — We’re closely watching what could become a tropical depression or even Tropical Storm Gamma, says KHOU 11 Meteorologist Chita Craft.

As of Wednesday morning, the National Hurricane Center said the disturbance had a 30% chance of development over the next 48 hours and a 70% chance over the next five days.

Craft says it could move closer to the Yucatan Peninsula by midweek next week and possibly enter the Gulf of Mexico. What happens after that is still unknown. The system could interact with and weaken due to a front that is draped over much of the U.S. It could also move into the Gulf, heading northeast and have impacts in Florida, but it’s too soon to know anything for sure. We’ll just want to monitor it closely for the next several days.

“It probably will become Tropical Storm Gamma over the weekend,” said Craft.

You can read the latest on this system under section 1 from the NHC below. There’s also another tropical wave (2) they are tracking farther east that has a lesser chance of development.

Thursday update from the National Hurricane Center:

For the North Atlantic…Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico:

1. Showers and thunderstorms located over the west-central Caribbean Sea are associated with a tropical wave. A broad area of low pressure is expected to form in a day or so over the northwest Caribbean Sea or the extreme southern Gulf of Mexico in the vicinity of the wave as it moves slowly west-northwestward. Conditions are forecast to be conducive for development thereafter in that region, and a tropical depression could form over the weekend as the system meanders. Interests in Belize, the Yucatan Peninsula, and western Cuba should monitor the progress of this disturbance.* Formation chance through 48 hours…low…30 percent.* Formation chance through 5 days…high…70 percent.

2. Another tropical wave located a couple hundred miles east of the Lesser Antilles is producing widespread cloudiness and disorganized shower activity.  This disturbance is forecast to move westward during the next several days where environmental conditions could become a little more conducive for development over the central or western Caribbean Sea by early next week. * Formation chance through 48 hours…low…near 0 percent. * Formation chance through 5 days…low…20 percent. 

No immediate threats to the Gulf Coast or Texas

The good news is elsewhere the tropics remain very quiet with no development expected in the Atlantic over the next three days, says Craft. This means there is also no threats to Texas or the rest of the American mainland.

The 2020 hurricane season is so active, we ran out of names

The Atlantic hurricane season doesn’t officially end until Nov. 30, and we’ve already run out of letters for named storms. X, Y and Z aren’t used so Tropical Storm Wilfred was the last one. For only the second time in history, the National Hurricane Center has switched to the Greek alphabet for storm names. Read more and see the list of upcoming names here.