Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Tampa Bay Weather

Forecasters warn: Keep an eye on Gulf of Mexico this weekend

Uncertainty continues to swirl around a mass of thunderstorms in the southern Gulf of Mexico that seems poised to become a tropical system this weekend.

How strong will it get? Which way will it turn? Could Florida be hit by its first named storm of the season?

The answers, experts say, may not be clear until Sunday.

Two competing systems will determine which way the system will move — an area of high pressure in the southwestern United States and a low-pressure system along the East Coast.

But it will be slow going.

Meteorologists said a path probably won't be clear until Sunday, at which point westerly winds are expected to die down enough for the system to develop into Tropical Storm Debby.

"It's a slow-moving process," said National Hurricane Center forecaster Robbie Berg. "It's a big, sprawling system that doesn't have a real defined center. It's pretty disorganized."

As the process plays out, forecasters said, Florida will get a good drenching.

The Tampa Bay region could see up to 4 inches of rain through the weekend, according to Bay News 9, with parts of South Florida getting even more.

At 8 p.m. Friday, forecasters estimated there was an 80 percent chance the system would become a tropical storm within 48 hours, and they warned residents along the entire Gulf Coast to keep an eye on the system through the weekend.

If the system turns into a tropical storm, it would be the first time since the National Hurricane Center began keeping records that four named storms developed so early in the season, officials said.

Jeff Masters, chief meteorologist of Weather Underground, said it's doubtful that the storm will have enough time to strengthen to worrisome levels.

"But surprises do happen," he said.

On Friday, it was still too early to say which way the storm would turn, but Berg said it appeared more likely to take a turn to the west — and away from Florida — than to roll across the peninsula.

The high-pressure system near Texas will probably develop faster than the low pressure to the system's east, Berg said, pushing the storm westward.

"I'm not saying it can't hit Florida," he said. "It's just not looking like the more likely scenario."

All eyes will be on the gulf over the weekend.

Tropical storm formations in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean are common for the early part of hurricane season, which began June 1, said Bay News 9 chief meteorologist Mike Clay.

Marissa Lang can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3386.

Comments
Forecast: Warm breezes across Tampa Bay ahead of fluctuating conditions

Forecast: Warm breezes across Tampa Bay ahead of fluctuating conditions

Chilly, windy, colder, sunny, warmer, rainy. 10News WTSP Feels-like temperatures around the Tampa Bay area This week’s inconsistent weather conditions will at least keep things interesting across the Tampa Bay area, even if it makes it d...
Updated: 5 hours ago
To test for climate disasters, like hurricanes: build stuff, then blow it apart

To test for climate disasters, like hurricanes: build stuff, then blow it apart

WEST GLOCESTER, R.I. ó In the backwoods of Rhode Island, a team of researchers spends whole days trying to destroy things: setting boxes on fire, shattering chunks of ice, hurling debris through the air at hurricane speed.They work for an insurance c...
Published: 12/12/17
Forecast: Freeze warning for some Tampa Bay residents, but warmer weather coming

Forecast: Freeze warning for some Tampa Bay residents, but warmer weather coming

Portions of the Tampa Bay area under a freeze warning as this weekendís cold blast extends into the start of the workweek.10News WTSPFeels-like temperatures around the Tampa Bay area That wintry feel, however, is coming into an end as conditions beg...
Published: 12/11/17
Itís so cold outside that it snowed in Florida

Itís so cold outside that it snowed in Florida

Usually the words "snow" and "Florida" donít go together.But a cold front over the weekend has proved that rule wrong for shivering Floridians, bringing in a dusting of snow across the western Panhandle late Saturday night into Sunday morning.As temp...
Published: 12/10/17
Forecast: Parts of Tampa Bay under freeze watch as cold temperatures linger

Forecast: Parts of Tampa Bay under freeze watch as cold temperatures linger

Bundle up, Tampa Bay: Itís a chilly Sunday. 10News WTSPThe latest Tampa Bay-area radar 10News WTSPFeels-like temperatures around the Tampa Bay area The skies are clear and thereís little-to-no chance of ra...
Published: 12/10/17

Rotary Club cancels Saturday boat parade because of weather

ST. PETERSBURG ó A third boat parade was canceled Saturday because of this weekendís bad weather.The Rotary Club of St. Petersburg will not host its lighted boat parade on Saturday evening because of a small craft advisory. The National Weather Servi...
Published: 12/09/17
Forecast: Tampa Bay begins weekend cold snap

Forecast: Tampa Bay begins weekend cold snap

After heavy showers covered much of Tampa Bay Friday night, Saturday started out drier ó and colder.There was still some mist in the air that was expected to continue in the mid-day, said WTSP 10Weather meteorologist Bobby Deskins. 10...
Published: 12/09/17
The weather outside is frightful. Well, wet and cold anyway.

The weather outside is frightful. Well, wet and cold anyway.

Prepare yourselves Tampa Bay: Itís finally time for sweater weather.But you might need your rain jacket and umbrella, too.The weekend started Friday night with severe rain and wind gusts ó even a slight risk of a tornado ó that canceled some weekend ...
Published: 12/09/17
Southern snowfall isnít deep, but many fear overnight freeze

Southern snowfall isnít deep, but many fear overnight freeze

ATLANTA ó Snowfall blanketed parts of the Deep South on Friday, delighting schoolchildren with an unexpected holiday but also reviving panicky memories for many adults of past storms that trapped commuters on interstates for hours. Businesses closed ...
Published: 12/08/17
Wild weather expected, 2 boat parades canceled

Wild weather expected, 2 boat parades canceled

Boat parades that were planned tonight in South Pasadena and St. Pete Beach have been canceled because of weather fears.Organizers said they will not be rescheduled. Heavy rain is expected to approach the gulf coast near sunset Friday ahead of a stro...
Published: 12/08/17