Gulf disturbance off Mexican coast could become Wilfred today or Friday
Wilfred may be closer that we thought.
A low-pressure system in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico -- between Mexico's Gulf Coast and the Yucatan Peninsula -- is being given good odds to become the 2020 hurricane season's last named storm later today or Friday.
After the name Wilfred is bestowed upon the next tropical storm, the others formed will be called by letters of the Greek alphabet. That has only been necessary one other year since human names were given to storms in the mid-1950s. That was in 2005.
The National Weather Service said the current Gulf disturbance became "better organized this morning in association with a well-defined low pressure system located over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico."
The NWS said conditions are "gradually becoming more conducive for development and, if this recent development trend continues, a tropical depression or a tropical storm could form later today."
Forecasts are that the system will "meander over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico for the next day or so before moving slowly northward to northeastward on Friday and Saturday."
Depending on how far northeast the storm might move, it would hit the northern Gulf coast from Texas to Florida if it didn't dissipate first.
The Air Force Reserve will send a plane to investigate the disturbance this afternoon.
NWS said there is a 90 percent chance the system will develop into Wilfred within the next 2-5 days.
Meanwhile, the Gulf system's closest competitor for the name is still off the coast of Africa as an "elongated area of low pressure" producing "disorganized shower and thundershower activity," the NWS said. Conditions will be "conducive for development during the next few days and a tropical depression could form before upper-level winds become less favorable over the weekend."
This system is given a 40 percent chance of reaching tropical storm status over the next two days and 50 percent chance within five days.
In a distant third-place running is a low-pressure system in the northeastern Atlantic, east of the Azores. This storm is headed east, toward Portugal, at about 10 mph. It could arrive there late Friday. However, it has only a 30 percent chance of organizing into a tropical storm.
Teddy is a Category 3 hurricane with 121 mph winds and 150 mph gusts about 1,150 miles from Bermuda. It is on track to hit the island -- which got pummeled by Paulette last week -- with 115 mph winds on Monday.