At 10:50 a.m., the Hurricane Center said there’s a 60% chance for a tropical depression to form as a tropical wave — designated as Invest 99L — in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico gets better organized.
At 8 a.m., chances were at 40% for the system to strengthen into a tropical cyclone.
Air Force Reserve hurricane hunters are scheduled to investigate the system today, if necessary, according to the National Hurricane Center.
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Most forecast paths show the system moving to the northwest away from the U.S. Southeast. I direct impacts are expected in Florida, according to the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network.
A big factor affecting potential development is time. There’s little opportunity for the system to strengthen before it moves back over land sometime Saturday, according to AccuWeather.
If the system hugs the coast instead of moving more northwest over open water, that also could hinder development.
The Hurricane Center also is monitoring two other tropical waves in the Atlantic basin, including one east of the British Virgin Islands.
The next named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season will be Danielle.
Here’s the latest update from the NHC as of 10:50 a.m. Aug. 19:
What’s out there and where are they?
Gulf of Mexico tropical wave: Satellite imagery indicates that showers and thunderstorms associated with the broad low pressure area over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico and the Bay of Campeche are getting better organized.
Tropical wave 1: A tropical wave in the eastern Atlantic is located near the Cabo Verde Islands. It’s moving to the west at 11 mph.
Tropical wave 2: A tropical wave in the western Atlantic is located east of the British Virgin Islands. It’s moving to the west at 13 mph.
How likely are they to strengthen?
Gulf of Mexico tropical wave: Environmental conditions appear favorable for additional development, and a tropical depression could form later today or on Saturday while the system moves northwest across the southwestern and western Gulf of Mexico.
By Saturday night, the system is expected to move inland over northeastern Mexico, which will end its chances of development.
An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate the system this afternoon.
Formation chance through 48 hours: medium, 60 percent.
Formation chance through 5 days: medium, 60 percent.
Who is likely to be impacted?
Gulf of Mexico tropical wave: Regardless of development, residents along the northeastern coast of Mexico and the lower Texas coast should monitor the progress of this system.
The system could bring locally heavy rains to portions of northeastern Mexico and southern Texas over the weekend.
Tropical wave 2: Scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms were reported over eastern Suriname and east of the Leeward Islands Friday.
It’s too early at this time to determine if there will be any impact to the U.S. from the other tropical waves out there.
Forecasters urge all residents to continue monitoring the tropics and to always be prepared during what’s expected to be an active hurricane season.
Forecast path, spaghetti models for Invest 99L
Colorado State University’s 2-week forecast for Aug. 18-31
Meteorologists forecast normal hurricane activity over the next two weeks, with a 15% chance of above-normal activity and a 15% chance of below-normal activity.
Tropical cyclone activity is likely to increase later in the period.
When is hurricane season?
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30.
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When is the peak of hurricane season?
Although the season has gotten off to a quiet start, the peak of the season is Sept. 10, with the most activity happening between mid-August and mid-October, according to the Hurricane Center.
Weather watches and warnings issued for your area
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Five-day tropical outlook for Atlantic basin
See the National Hurricane Center’s five-day graphical tropical weather outlook below.
Excessive rainfall forecast
What’s out there?
Systems currently being monitored by the National Hurricane Center.
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This article originally appeared on Naples Daily News: NHC: Invest 99L could become tropical depression in Gulf of Mexico today