SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - The potential remains for a tropical disturbance to move into the Gulf of Mexico this week, possibly becoming a named tropical system.
Tropical wave Invest 99-L was located near the Bahamas, moving to the west at about 10 miles per hour according to a Saturday morning statement from the National Hurricane Center (NHC).
NHC says 99-L has a medium chance to develop into a named tropical system over the next five days. They think it will continue moving westward, entering the eastern Gulf near the tip of Florida some over the next few days before possibly continuing on a northwestward path.
Forecast models remain uncertain about 99-L's future track and intensity.
"The GFS Ensemble model, a reliable computer model for forecast track, suggests that 99-L will continue moving northwest through the early week period," said WLOX First Alert Meteorologist Wesley Williams on Saturday. "The latest run of the HWRF model, a reliable computer model for forecast intensity, suggests that 99-L could reach major hurricane status by midweek."
"Of course, these single-runs of single-models will likely not reveal the true future path or strength of this potential storm," Williams continued. "Forecast models tend to perform poorly until there is an actual well-defined tropical system to track. And 99-L just is not developed enough yet. But, if or once 99-L becomes better organized, we should expect the models to get a better grasp of its forecast."
"The bottom line is that the extended forecast for this tropical wave still remains uncertain," said Williams on Saturday. "Areas from Texas to Florida along the U.S. Gulf Coast could potentially face tropical impacts. However, at this time, the WLOX Weather Team is not expecting any direct tropical impacts as our seven-day forecast shows partly cloudy skies on Wednesday through Friday. But, that can change. So, it's important to keep an eye on the forecast for the middle to end of this week to see if we begin to expect any impacts locally."
"With the potential for a named tropical system in the Gulf this upcoming week, even if the chance for development appears low at times, it is important to not let our guards down. Make sure your hurricane plan is ready in case you need to put that plan into action."
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