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Tropical depression or tropical storm expected to develop in northern Gulf

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MIAMI – A tropical depression or tropical storm is expected to develop this week in the northern Gulf. Residents from the Texas coast to the Florida panhandle should stay aware of the latest forecast. Elsewhere, the Atlantic and Caribbean are quiet.

A broad low-pressure area over North Florida and South Georgia will drift south into the Gulf of Mexico later Tuesday. Computer models indicate that it will organize into a tropical depression or tropical storm, and drift west over the northern Gulf for the next few days.  

The atmospheric conditions will be somewhere between somewhat conducive and very conducive for the system to organize and intensify. The Gulf water temperature is quite warm, so that's not an inhibiting factor.

Computer forecasts you have seen online are misleading. Any time a system is not well organized, computer forecasts have larger errors. This system is very broad, disorganized and still over land.

There is no reason to believe that any specific forecast should be assumed to be the best or accepted as the way the storm is most likely to develop.

For now, everyone from the Florida Panhandle to the Texas coast should stay aware of the local forecast. If the upper air pattern and the circulation over the Gulf line up perfectly, the system could intensify quickly. A hurricane is even possible. But it is too early to know with any certainty.  

Just like you can't thread a needle from across the room, knowing exactly how the various atmospheric features will line up three days from now is impossible. Be prepared and stay informed in case action is required.

Elsewhere, the atmosphere over the tropical Atlantic and the Caribbean is not conducive for tropical development, and is expected to stay that way through next weekend.

About the Author:

Bryan Norcross is currently a hurricane specialist at Local 10 News, the station where he began his stretch on television in Miami in 1983.