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Friday, July 1, 2022

Tropical Storm Gamma heads toward Cozumel, drenching Yucatan for days

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Tropical Storm Gamma’s trajectory was predicted by the National Hurricane Center at 4 a.m. Saturday.

Tropical Storm Gamma has begun a five-day crawl around the Yucatan Peninsula, bringing more rain and wind to the region for days.

Gamma will reach Cozumel Saturday afternoon, crossing the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula before crossing somewhere between Río Lagartos and Isla Holbox to the Gulf of Mexico early Sunday, weather forecasters said.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds are 40 mph and additional strengthening is expected before Gamma makes landfall, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

The slow-moving weather system became a named tropical storm while churning overnight in the Caribbean. Since Friday, the system clashed with a cold front, bringing intermittent but persistent rain and wind to Yucatan.

The center of the storm will head to Playa del Carmen and is expected to move toward the northeast of the Peninsula.

Due to the interaction with cold front number 4, which is on the Peninsula, more hours of intermittent rain are announced in the area, which yesterday also suffered the effects in Mérida and other parts of Yucatán.

Flooding is most likely in northern Quintana Roo and southern Campeche.

Gamma is the 24th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.

On the heels is a disturbance in the eastern Caribbean, which just crossed the Lesser Antilles. The large mass of thunderstorms is moving westward at 15 to 20 mph. The Hurricane Center gives it a 30% chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm next week. If it intensifies, it will be Tropical Storm Delta.

Through at least mid-October, conditions favor even more storm formation in the tropical Atlantic. A broad area of rising motion over the Pacific is forecast to pivot east and envelop the western Atlantic. That will help boost thunderstorm updrafts and make it easier for tropical systems to form, forecasters in Miami said.

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