Forecasters warn Florida Panhandle to keep watch for tropical storm

Hurricane forecasters keeping an eye on Gulf this weekend

All eyes are still on the two areas of interest within the tropics. There is an 80% chance of formation over the next 48 hours and a 90% chance of formation over the next 5 days.

Satellite data and surface observations indicated that a broad low-pressure area had formed over the Gulf of Honduras, and the associated precipitation activity was showing signs of organization.

Gulf Coast meteorologist Rocco Calaci says the system is likely to develop into Tropical Storm Bret in the Gulf and weaken as it interacts with the shoreline.

A Hurricane Hunter Reconnaissance Aircraft is scheduled to investigate this system on Sunday, if necessary.

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"The system east of the Caribbean is nothing for us to worry about". There is still a lot of uncertainty in the forecast track of this system: will it go west to Texas or north to Florida's panhandle?

Both areas of disturbance have a high chance of tropical development. A tropical wave in the central Atlantic also has an increasing chance of developing into a tropical cyclone. If a tropical system does develop, the combination of wind shear, and relatively cool waters will most likely prevent the development of a strong tropical storm or hurricane.

At best, this system could strengthen into a Tropical Storm but the real threat will be flooding.

Total rainfall accumulations of 2 to 4 inches are now expected over the Windward Islands Monday through Wednesday.

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It would need to have sustained winds of 39 miles per hour to get a name, and that name would be either Bret or Cindy, the next two names on the list. One located in the western Atlantic has already been given the (new for 2017) designation of Potential Tropical Cyclone #2 by NHC.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada.

Meanwhile, Storm Team 8 is monitoring another tropical system that has prompted a Tropical Storm Warning to be issued for part of the Louisiana Coast.

Hurricane season began on June 1.

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