Tropical Storm May Form In The Gulf

This image is from the NOAA website.
Forecasters will be busy this weekend trying to predict how a system of disturbed weather in the southern Gulf of Mexico will develop. Computer models don't have much to go on yet.

Right now the storm is lurking just north of the Yucatan Peninsula, not organized enough yet to be called much more than a disturbance. Forecasters are trying to figure out which direction it will head if it does become more organized over the weekend.

Chris Hebert is the lead hurricane forecaster for Houston-based Impact Weather.

"If it does move westward toward Texas, there's a chance that it would have the time to develop further beyond tropical storm strength and become a hurricane. Currently we don't see that threat to the upper Texas coast however. If that high pressure is building along the gulfcoast to the north of it, then we think that it might move any storm system in the gulf more toward the west-southwest, so it might move toward the lower Texas coast or even northern Mexico instead of the upper Texas coast."

Hebert says despite today's advanced computer models, it's still very difficult to tell where a storm will go until it's finished forming. 

"How much it develops is really a factor in where it's going to eventually go. The weaker system won't get picked-up by the front and taken toward Florida. It will probably just stay down there in the Gulf of Mexico, where it could eventually track westward, but until it actually develops and does something, it's really hard to say which direction, left or right, it's going to eventually turn."

One early computer model has a storm heading to the Texas Gulf Coast, but many others predict other tracks away from Texas. If it forms, Tropical Storm Debby would be the 4th named storm of the 2012 hurricane storm.

For tropical storm and hurricane coverage, information and maps, visit our hurricane resources page.