Hurricane forecasters watching another wave of storms stirring in the Caribbean

National Hurricane Center
National Hurricane Center

Hurricane forecasters are watching another blob of showers and thunderstorms in what's turning out to be a messy start to the Atlantic hurricane season.

On Monday afternoon, forecasters said a system churning off the South American coast has a 20 percent chance of forming over the next five days. It's not expected to become any better organized as it remains close to the Central American coast and the Yucatan Peninsula through the week.

But as it moves into the Gulf of Mexico toward the end of the week, conditions could become more favorable. A track forecast so far points the storm toward Mexico, away from Florida.

The system comes less than three weeks after Alberto made a rare preseason arrival as a lopsided subtropical storm when it formed the last week of May. Having another potential storm develop so soon is not unusual, hurricane center spokesman Dennis Feltgen said, even if it seems stormier than usual in Florida. Last month, the state broke a century-old record for rainfall.

miami beach alberto.jpg
Alberto, which formed off the Yucatan Peninsula, spread heavy rain across Florida in May, including Miami Beach, and helped push the rainfall record to the highest in more than a century.

Both Alberto and this system popped in the southern Caribbean, where warm waters early in the season can help fuel tropical cyclones while waters remain too cool farther east in the Atlantic.

"As we get into July and August, the favorite areas are going to expand markedly to the east," Feltgen said. "But where we’re seeing this now is exactly where you’d expect to see it."

Even if no tropical system develops, forecasters warned that the system could dump heavy rain on flood prone areas in Nicaragua, Honduras and other parts of Central America as well as the Yucatan through Thursday.

In South Florida, the National Weather Service's Miami office is calling for daily rain through the week, with overnight and morning showers on the east coast and afternoon and evening storms on the Gulf Coast.

Ken Graham, the new director of the National Hurricane Center, talks about the start of the hurricane season in Miami on Friday, June 1, 2018.

Follow Jenny Staletovich on Twitter @jenstaletovich