As the 24th named storm of a busy 2020 Atlantic hurricane season swirls off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, forecasters are monitoring an area of disturbed weather in the Caribbean that could bring trouble to the Gulf of Mexico.
“This system now has a high chance of becoming a tropical depression during the next five days,” the NHC said.
According to forecasters, the tropical wave is located a couple of hundred miles southeast of Jamaica with an area of showers and thunderstorms.
An area of disturbed weahter in the Caribbean in being monitored for development over the next couple of days, according to forecasters. (NOAA/GOES-East)
The system is forecast to enter an area conducive for additional development, with a tropical depression likely to form within the next day or so.
Forecasters from the NHC say there’s a 70% chance of formation in the next 48 hours and an 80% chance over the next five days.
The storm is expected to move west across the central and western Caribbean Sea through Tuesday, then head into the southern or southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday night into Wednesday.
“Locally heavy rainfall and gusty winds will be possible across portions of Hispaniola, Jamaica, Cuba and the Cayman Islands during the next few days, and interests on those islands should monitor the progress of this disturbance,” the NHC said.
According to Fox News’ Chief Meteorologist Rick Reichmuth, this area of the Caribbean is where storms tend to develop at this time of the year.
“This little batch of moisture across the central Caribbean is the one we’re going to watch, as it probably within the next four or five days gets into the central Gulf and we could be talking about a pretty significant hurricane,” Reichmuth said on “Fox & Friends Weekend.”
The National Weather Service (NWS) forecast office in New Orleans said it’s still too early to determine if this system will bring impacts to the Gulf Coast but advised to continue to monitor the system through the week.
Two other systems in the Atlantic have low formation chances over the next five days but are being monitored by the NHC.
If the system does form it would have the name “Delta” and break a record for the earliest 25th Atlantic named storm that was previously set on Nov. 15, 2005, according to Colorado State University hurricane research scientist Phil Klotzbach.
There are about two months left in the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which ends Nov. 30, but this season has broken numerous records as forecasters in September ran out of traditional names and went to the Greek alphabet for storms Alpha and Beta.
NOAA forecasters have called for up to 25 named storms this season with winds of 39 mph or higher; of those, seven to 10 could become hurricanes. Among those hurricanes, three to six will be major, classified as Category 3, 4 and 5 with winds of 111 mph or higher.
That’s far above an average year. Based on 1981-to-2010 data, that is 12 named storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.
The last time the Greek alphabet was used in the Atlantic was in 2005, the year of Hurricane Katrina. With a total of 27 storms that year, the first six letters of the Greek alphabet were used: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon and Zeta.
With weeks to go until the season officially ends, the 2020 season could set the record for most named storms.
Fox News’ Janice Dean, Adam Klotz, and Brandon Noriega contributed to this report.