Tropical Storm Gamma continued to strengthen Saturday as it approaches Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, where it’s expected to make landfall early Sunday as a hurricane.
The storm will not directly affect Tampa Bay, but will result in thunderstorms and rain on Sunday, said National Weather Service meteorologist Richard Rude.
Meanwhile three other tropical systems are developing in the Atlantic, a sign that this busy storm season is rapidly resuming after a brief lull. Gamma is the 24th named Atlantic storm of the year.
The tropical storm is expected to bring heavy rain and flash flooding in the coming days to southeastern Mexico and Central America, according to the National Weather Center’s 8 p.m. advisory.
Gamma’s maximum sustained winds were about 65 mph, approaching the 74 mph mark that would classify it as a Category 1 hurricane. It was moving northwest at about 9 mph.
The hurricane center predicts the storm will turn northwest Sunday and turn west or Southwest on Monday, moving it further away from Tampa Bay.
But the region will still feel its effects. Spectrum Bay News 9’s forecast gives our region a 80 percent chance of rain on Sunday with a high of 78.
After the rain passes, the temperature will warm back up to normal for early October weather. For Monday, that means a high of 85 and a 20 percent chance of rain. Tuesday will be even warmer, however, with a high of 89 and a 50 percent chance of rain.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic, three other systems were being monitored by the hurricane center.
There is a tropical wave over the central Caribbean Sea — designated Tropical Disturbance 1 — that could become a tropical depression next week. The system was moving west-northwest at 15 mph toward the southern Gulf of Mexico. It has a 60 percent chance of developing in the next five days or so.
A second tropical wave, Tropical Disturbance 2, was located in the central Topical Atlantic and moving west-northwest at 10 to 15 mph, according to the hurricane center. It has a lower change of developing, just 20 percent, over the next five or so days.
The third system, Tropical Disturbance 3, is in the Atlantic about 1,000 miles east-southeast of Bermuda and moving west-southwest at 10 mph. It has just a 10 percent chance of strengthening in the next five days.
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2020 Tampa Bay Times Hurricane Guide
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