National Hurricane Center: 90% chance of tropical development in next 48 hours

The National Hurricane Center continues to monitor a broad, low pressure system that is producing widespread but disorganized showers and thunderstorms over the Florida Panhandle and far northeastern Gulf of Mexico.

The system’s chances of tropical development within the next 48 hours or five days have increased to 90%, according to the center. A tropical depression is expected to form late Wednesday or Thursday and slowly move westward across the northern Gulf of Mexico.

The disturbance is not expected to directly impact South Texas, but rather slowly shift westward across the northern Gulf of Mexico and potentially impact a region stretching from the Upper Texas Coast to the Florida Panhandle, according to a National Weather Service news release early Tuesday.

“There is still a lot of uncertainty on direction because the hurricane center has yet to issue any track because it is not a tropical depression yet,” said Waylon Collins, senior forecaster for the weather service in Corpus Christi.

Regardless of the system’s track or development, swells and the rip current risk along the Middle Texas Coast could increase later in the week as a result of the pressure system and cause coastal flooding.

A U.S. Air Force Unit reconnaissance aircraft is set to investigate the disturbance Wednesday afternoon. Tropical storm, hurricane or storm surge watches could be issued for parts of the northern Gulf Coast, depending on forecasts.

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