At a Glance
A tropical wave will likely develop in the northwestern Caribbean.
It is expected to be a rainmaker for Jamaica, Cuba and the Cayman Islands.
This system will enter the Gulf of Mexico by midweek, likely as a tropical storm.
It is expected to become a hurricane before it reaches the northern Gulf Coast.
A tropical wave is expected to threaten the northern Gulf Coast as a hurricane toward the end of the week following strikes in the northwestern Caribbean.
A tropical wave accompanied by a small low pressure system is moving over the central Caribbean Sea toward the northwestern Caribbean and is showing some signs of organization.
The National Hurricane Season has given this disturbance, dubbed Potential Tropical Cyclone 26, a high chance of developing into a tropical depression.
The NHC expects this system to intensify and organize into a tropical storm and has issued the following wind watches and warnings in coordination with local governments:
A tropical storm warning has been issued for the Cayman Islands where tropical storm conditions are expected in the beginning late Monday.
A hurricane watch for the Isle of Youth and the Cuba provinces of Pinar del Rio and Artemisa in western Cuba, where hurricane conditions are possible by Tuesday afternoon.
A tropical storm watch has been issued for the Cuban province of La Habana.
Current Watches and Warnings
This disturbance will continue to push west-northward over the next several days, and conditions are expected to become more conducive for development and intensification. A tropical depression is likely to form within the next day or so.
Computer models suggest that this system will become a tropical storm by Monday. When it does, it will become Delta.
Strong winds and heavy rain will be possible across portions of Jamaica, Cuba and the Cayman Islands during the next few days.
A storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 3 to 5 feet above normal tide levels along the southern coast of western Cuba and on the Isle of Youth into Tuesday.
This system will then likely track into the southern or southeastern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday night or Wednesday as a strengthening tropical storm or hurricane.
The National Hurricane Center expects what will likely be named Delta to be a Category 1 or 2 hurricane as it approaches the northern Gulf Coast, likely packing a storm surge, strong winds and heavy rain, by Friday.
Tropical-storm-force Wind Arrival Times
(This is when winds of 40 mph may arrive and when it is too late to finish preparations. )
October Typically Sees a Shift Closer to Home
With the change in the seasons and the cooling of temperatures, we start to see less tropical activity in the open Atlantic.
Even though the climatological peak of the hurricane season – Sept. 10 – has passed, residents along the Gulf and East coasts need to remain prepared for a hurricane.
Roughly one-fifth of all U.S. hurricane landfalls have occurred in October and November.
(MORE: What the Busiest Hurricane Seasons Have Delivered in October)
Tropical waves begin to weaken and become less impressive while North American cold fronts begin to dip their toes into the Gulf of Mexico, providing additional sources for tropical activity.
The Central American Gyre (or CAG) develops in October, a large, broad low pressure system that hovers over Central America. The CAG spins off tropical depressions and tropical storms into the Caribbean and eastern Pacific on occasion. Those systems typically move north and eastward toward Cuba and Florida.
The cold fronts occasionally spawn tropical systems in the Atlantic, which are typically swiftly moved away from the United States.
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