Eyes on the tropics: Potential Tropical Cyclone 26 expected to reach Gulf Coast as hurricane later this week

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The National Hurricane Center is currently monitoring several systems in the Atlantic.

HOUSTON — There’s a reason hurricane season runs through Nov. 30.

After back-to-back tropical weather for the Houston area, followed by a few weeks of relative calmness in the Atlantic, the tropics have once again come alive. And there’s one system out there that our meteorologists are keeping a close eye on. Invest 92L has developed into potential Tropical Cyclone 26.

The National Hurricane Center continues to monitor not three other systems in the Atlantic, including the remnants of Hurricane Paulette that formed over a month ago and a wave in the open Atlantic that doesn’t appear to be a threat of any kind. 

There’s also Tropical Storm Gamma. Gamma is looking to pose no threat to Houston or the U.S. for that matter, but potential Tropical Cyclone 26 is raising a few eyebrows.

Potential Tropical Cyclone 26

Invest 92L developed into potential Tropical Cyclone 26 in the National Hurricane Center’s 5 p.m. Sunday update. The system is expected to reach the Gulf Coast as a hurricane later this week.

It might become our next tropical storm and would be assigned the name ‘Delta,’ the next name on the Greek alphabet.

READ: National Hurricane Center turns to Greek alphabet for storm names

KHOU 11 Meteorologist Blake Mathews said it would be extremely unusual for a tropical storm or hurricane to hit the upper-Texas coast so late in the season. However, if we learned anything in 2020, something that is rare doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

The storm is expected to create tropical storm conditions in the Cayman Islands on Monday before heading toward western Cuba on Tuesday.

The last time a hurricane hit the upper-Texas coast this late was Hurricane Jerry on October 15, 1989. 

While most of the computer models take this well east of Houston, we’ll need to monitor the system for any deviations west in its eventual track.

Tropical Storm Gamma

Tropical Storm Gamma formed Saturday and quickly powered up into a strong tropical storm with 70 mph winds. In fact, it strengthened so rapidly that the NHC was forced to issue a hurricane warning for the Yucatan Peninsula. 

While it didn’t quite make hurricane status, it still brought high winds and driving rain to areas near Cancun. 

READ: Tropical Storm Gamma moves across Yucatan Peninsula

Gamma is forecast to turn west on Sunday and eventually west-southwest towards the Bay of Campache where a second landfall will be possible in southern Mexico. 

The good news, Gamma will pose no threat to Houston or the U.S. for that matter.