Hurricane

Hurricane forecasters up odds on two systems in Gulf and Atlantic

National Hurricane Center

Two storm systems being tracked in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic now have a high chance of becoming tropical cyclones, hurricane forecasters said early Saturday.

With conditions favorable in the Gulf of Mexico, forecasters say it’s becoming more likely that a broad patch of storms will become a tropical depression or storm as it moves slowly across the Yucatan Peninsula. Likewise for a second system in the Central Atlantic, about 1,500 miles east of the Windward Islands.

National Hurricane Center forecasters gave both storms a 70 percent chance of forming in five days.

The system in the Gulf, which is unlikely to threaten Florida, could become a tropical cyclone early next week over the southern or central Gulf, forecasters said. Even if it fails to form, it’s still likely to produce plenty of rain over the region, including western Cuba, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.

The second system is producing scattered showers and thunderstorms and changed little overnight. Over the next few days it will encounter warm waters and other conditions likely allowing it to become more organized but then face less favorable conditions, forecasters said. The system is moving to the northwest at about 15 to 20 mph.

2017 hurricane forecast chart
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The 2017 hurricane season, which started just over two weeks ago, is expected to be as busy as last season, which clocked in as one of the longest on record. The first storm appeared in January and the last in November. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration expects at 11 to 17 named storms this season and two to four major hurricanes.

Follow Jenny Staletovich on Twitter @jenstaletovich

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