HOLT, Fla., May 24, 2018–The low-pressure area developing in the Caribbean continues to show promise as the first identified system of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.
A broad, stationary surface low-pressure system centered over the southeastern Yucatan Peninsula is gradually becoming better defined, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Although showers and thunderstorms, along with strong gusty winds, are confined primarily to the adjacent waters of the northwestern Caribbean Sea, gradual development of this system is expected during the next couple of days as it drifts northward near the Yucatan Peninsula.
Environmental conditions are forecast to become more conducive for development through early next week, and a subtropical or tropical depression is likely to form by late Saturday over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico.
Further development chance is now at 80 percent.
Regardless of development, locally heavy rainfall is forecast over much of Florida and the northern Gulf Coast into early next week.
In addition, the threat of rip currents will steadily increase along the Gulf coast from Florida westward to Louisiana during the Memorial Day weekend.
The next special tropical weather outlook on this system will be issued by 1 p.m. CDT this afternoon.
National Hurricane Center forecast