It’s now all but certain that a tropical disturbance in the Western Caribbean will develop into a cyclone, and Florida’s Gulf Coast is in the cross hairs.
The system, which is nearing Yucatan Peninsula, has a 80 percent chance of forming into a tropical cyclone by Monday, and a 80 percent chance of doing so in the next five days, according to the National Hurricane Center’s 8 p.m. advisory.
The system is not currently on a track to hit South Florida, but the region should expect heavy rains in the middle part of next week.
“Satellite imagery and surface observations indicate that a broad low pressure area is forming over the northwestern Caribbean Sea, accompanied by thunderstorm activity that is currently poorly organized,” according to the NHC’s advisory. “This low is expected to gradually develop further tonight and Sunday as it moves near or over the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and into the southern Gulf of Mexico. Subsequently, the low is likely to develop into a tropical cyclone as it moves northeastward across the central and eastern Gulf of Mexico early next week.”
Miami-Dade and Broward counties can expect between one and two inches of rain from the system beginning Wednesday, but Central Florida along the I-4 corridor could receive four times that amount.
If the system develops into a tropical storm, which is a real possibility over the Gulf, the cyclone would be named Colin.