Meteorologists will be watching closely this week for history to be made in the Gulf of Mexico – the first tropical storm ever recorded there in April.
It is generally a rare occurrence for tropical depressions or storms to form in April, AccuWeather says. Tropical Storm Arlene did form over the central Atlantic in 2017, but no tropical systems have ever been documented in the Gulf in April.
Timing is everything, and a list of factors would have to line up correctly for a tropical system to develop, AccuWeather says. And tropical storm or not, a wide span of moisture will develop from Florida to the upper Gulf Coast. As of Sunday, AccuWeather says a storm could form anywhere from near the coast of the Florida Peninsula and the Keys to the Louisiana coast later this week.
“At the very least, it appears that portions of Florida will receive some much-needed rain from the ordeal,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Alex DaSilva said.
?Coincidentally, Arlene is the first name on the list that will be used to identify 2023 Atlantic storms.
?Parts of Florida can use the rain. Soil conditions range from normal moisture in the Florida Panhandle to extreme drought in the southwest part of the peninsula.
?Hurricane season officials starts June 1.
Here’s what has to happen for historic system to form
The initial step in the formation of a tropical system may occur as a dip in the jet stream, high in the atmosphere, plunges toward the Gulf of Mexico this week, AccuWeather says. The jet stream may then break off and form what meteorologists call a “closed low.” If the closed low can linger over the Gulf for 2-3 days, it is possible that a low-pressure area may spin down to the lower part of the atmosphere and acquire some tropical characteristics.
WHAT IS THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRCANE WIND SPEED SCALE?Breaking down the hurricane category scale
“It appears that it may only get into the northern Gulf of Mexico for about 24 hours before moving inland,” AccuWeather Chief On-Air Meteorologist Bernie Rayno said. “If this is correct, the storm will not have enough time to develop.”