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Storm forecasters closely monitor Yucatan’s Gulf coast

Warmer than normal waters could trigger tropical storm

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Accuweather is watching the southern Gulf of Mexico for possible tropical storm development by June 1. Illustration: YEL / Getty Images

Just in time for the first day of hurricane season, the southern Gulf of Mexico may serve as the breeding ground for another tropical storm by June 1.

On the heels of short-lived subtropical storm Andrea, there are indications that another storm may take shape at the end of May or start of June, AccuWeather reports.

While Andrea was near Bermuda, this system is potentially hugging Mexico’s coastline, including the entire Yucatan Peninsula. The next named Atlantic storm will be called Barry.

“A large counterclockwise wind pattern, called a gyre, has set up over Central America,” said AccuWeather hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski. “There is the chance for some tropical development due to this gyre in the southern or southwestern Gulf of Mexico toward the end of next week into early June.”

The waters in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico are warmer than normal, which could cause any system that forms to then strengthen into a tropical storm.

Factors that could affect both strength and track, such as the formation and movement of other weather features, first must be ironed out. It could move north toward the United States, or it could form earlier over the northwestern Caribbean Sea.

“It is just as possible that a ridge of high pressure holds strong next week and prevents any tropical development in the Gulf of Mexico,” according to Kottlowski.

The Atlantic hurricane season will have a “near-average” activity, according to the U.S. National Oceans and Atmosphere Administration. That means between two and four major hurricanes are expected this year.

Sources: AccuWeather, NOAA

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