Storm Gaining Strength in Gulf
Increased chances that fourth Atlantic tropical system will form this weekend.
Forecasters said Friday evening that a storm system churning in the Gulf of Mexico has an 80-percent chance of developing into a named tropical storm this weekend.
If it gains organization, Tropical Storm Debby will be the fourth named system of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
Located 100 miles north of the northeastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, within range of south Florida and Cuba, forecaster say the storm gained organization on Friday.
"Surface pressures are still falling across the area, and shower and thunderstorm activity has been steadily increasing over much of the central and eastern Gulf of Mexico," a National Hurricane Center forecaster wrote.
Those conditions are just right for a tropical depression, storm or possibly a hurricane, and forecasters say the forecast only stands to strengthen the system over the weekend.
Only residents of the U.S. Gulf Coast are being advised to monitor the storm.
Though the Weather Channel, in one very early model, shows the weakened storm heading to the Atlantic over northeast Florida, coastal Georgia and the South Carolina Lowcountry later in the week. But all the forecasts are very preliminary at this point.
Debby could bring thunderstorms and heavy rain to much of Florida over the weekend. Heavy rain and localized flooding is possible for the Yucatan, Cuba and southern Florida, the National Hurricane Center predicts.