Hurricane center monitors system as it nears Gulf of Mexico

Source NOAA

Source NOAA

Over the next five days, forecasters say the system has an 80 percent chance of developing into a cyclone. News 6 meteorologist Samara Cokinos said the system is expected to be named by the end of the weekend or early next week, and will likely move into the Gulf of Mexico.

Long range forecast data is a bit split on two different scenarios (or outcomes) for this disturbance, ranging from just an area of tropical moisture and heavy rain to potentially a tropical storm.

At 8 p.m. Friday, forecasters said the system was producing rainy weather from Central America across the western Caribbean to Hispaniola.

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"Odds favor that a storm emerging from the northwestern Caribbean will track toward the northeastern Gulf of Mexico rather than the Texas coastline this time of year", he said.

"Nate brought torrential rains and devastating flooding to Costa Rica, causing $562 million in damage (1% of their $57 billion GDP) - their most expensive tropical cyclone in history", Weather Underground co-founder Jeff Masters in the blog. "If it does, it would be the middle of next week and would impact the north and central coastline of the Gulf of Mexico".

Forecasters at the National Weather Services National Hurricane Center are monitoring the system, which is now centered just north of the Honduran Bay Islands, according to a Saturday morning release. A strike along the Gulf Coast could come as early as Tuesday night, but Wednesday is more likely, said Jeff Masters, co-founder of Weather Underground.

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