Florida could see lots of rain as system in Gulf of Mexico moves northward

Pelican at Sunset at JB's Fish Camp, New Smyrna Beach < Florida. Taken by Harry Hunnicutt with Samsung S6 phone.

No, it isn’t hurricane season yet. But the National Hurricane Center is watching an area of showers and thunderstorm in the Gulf of Mexico which has a 30% chance of developing into a named storm in the next 48 hours.

The “chances of formation over the next 48 hours are low,” the National Weather Service in Miami tweeted on Sunday.

Chances of formation means it would gather strength and become more organized into a storm with tropical characteristics. Once the storm hits a threshold it would be classified as a tropical depression, tropical storm and then the hurricane categories.

“This system could acquire some subtropical or tropical characteristics while it moves slowly northward across the eastern Gulf of Mexico during the next few days,” according to the National Hurricane Center’s special tropical weather outlook.

Regardless if the storm intensifies and is named, it will produce heavy rains with possible flooding for Florida in the coming days. Parts of Florida could see lots of rainfall, but it may be some relief as a portion of the state is in severe drought.

As of Sunday, the broad area of cloudiness, showers, and thunderstorms extended from western Cuba across the southeastern Gulf of Mexico.

If it turns into a tropical storm or depression, this would happen before the start of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane season, which begins June 1. But storms forming early are not unusual, as there have been named tropical systems in April and May, and even a hurricane as early as January.