TRACKING THE TROPICS: Gulf Coast on alert for likely tropical developments in the coming days

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TAMPA (WFLA) – Storm Team 8 and the National Hurricane Center will be closely watching the northeastern Gulf of Mexico over the next several days with the possibility of some tropical development by the middle and end of the week.

A trough of low pressure located over the southeastern United States is expected to drop south into the northern Gulf of Mexico. An area of surface low pressure will likely form by the middle of next week and a tropical depression could develop by week’s end. If the system reaches tropical storm strength, it would be given the name “Barry.”

Light upper-level winds and warm sea surface temperatures will create a favorable environment for tropical development. The NHC is now giving this system an 80% chance of development into a tropical cyclone over the next five days.

Long range forecast models are coming into better agreement eventually bringing this system away from Tampa Bay toward the northern Gulf coast by the end of the week. Regardless of development and eventual track, the system will likely bring deep tropical moisture over the Florida peninsula leading to higher-than-normal rain chances for the Tampa Bay area. An onshore flow will lead to morning rain at the coast and inland storms east of I-75. Locally heavy rain is possible midweek.

Tropical computer models forecast the tropical low to push west toward Louisiana and Texas late this week.

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