MIAMI, Florida – NOAA’s National Hurricane Center issued a Tropical Weather Outlook at 8 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Friday, September 11, 2020, due to the presence of Invest 96L that may become a tropical cyclone over the Gulf of Mexico.
Invest 96L is a surface trough of low pressure located over the northwestern Bahamas that is producing a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms that extend from the northwestern and central Bahamas eastward a few hundred miles over the western Atlantic (marked with an orange “X”).
NHC forecasters say that this system is forecast to move westward at about 10 mph, cross the Bahamas and Florida today and tonight, and move into the eastern Gulf of Mexico on Saturday.
Upper-level winds are expected to become conducive for development and a tropical depression could form while Invest 96L moves slowly west-northwestward over the eastern Gulf of Mexico this weekend and early next week.
Regardless of development, this system is expected to produce locally heavy rainfall over portions of the Bahamas, South Florida, and the Florida Keys during the next couple of days.
Invest 96L has a 60% chance of tropical cyclone formation within the next five days and a 40% chance within the next 48 hours.
If this system becomes a tropical storm or hurricane, the next name on the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Names List is Sally.
Spaghetti models are in general agreement that Invest 96L will track westward across South Florida and emerge over the Gulf of Mexico.
However, there is a significant spread between the computer models of the track once the system enters the Gulf of Mexico with a predicted landfall anywhere between Texas and the Florida panhandle.
The peak of the Atlantic hurricane season occurred on September 10 when tropical cyclone activity significantly increases, according to NOAA and the National Weather Service’s historical hurricane activity data.
Currently, a total of 6 tropical cyclones may form within the next 5 days.
NOAA and Colorado State University forecast an “extremely active” 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season which runs from June 1 through November 30.