Gabrielle Near P.R.; Monitoring Southwestern GulfRainfall amounts of 3 to 6 inches are likely
Atlantic Tropical Storm Gabrielle formed late Wednesday evening near Puerto Rico. Gabrielle weakened Thursday midday. Another tropical system may form over the southwestern part of the Gulf of Mexico.
The next name on the list of tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Basin is Humberto.
The center of Gabrielle is located west-southwest of Ponce, Puerto Rico, with slow movement to the northwest. The low level center of the depression was shifted to the southwest of the circulation at mid-levels of the atmosphere as a result of disruptive winds.
At 11:00 a.m., Gabrielle was downgraded to a tropical depression and is not likely to become a hurricane. Maximum sustained winds are at 35 mph.
Gabrielle will continue to bring heavy rainfall from the Virgin Islands to Puerto Rico through the end of the week. Some pockets of heavy rain may develop over part of Hispaniola as well.
Rainfall amounts of 3 to 6 inches are likely, but the rugged terrain will enhance the rainfall and the threat of flash flooding and mudslides.
The area from the Windward and Leeward islands to the British and U.S. Virgin Islands has been subject to locally heavy showers and gusty thunderstorms since the start of the week.
Gabrielle is forecast to drift along a curved path to the northwest, north and northeast through the weekend. The system could begin to affect the Turks and Caicos and the southern part of the Bahamas this weekend.
"The mountainous terrain of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola is likely to interfere with the circulation of the system and slow development through Saturday," said Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.
Depending on the strength of the system, there is the potential for building seas and surf in the region. However, even in a poorly organized system, there can be locally gusty squalls, which are a hazard for small craft.
Indications are that during next week, disruptive westerly winds in the atmosphere may minimize further development.
These same winds could keep the center of the system from reaching the United States mainland.
While there are some factors that will limit the intensity of this system, people should continue to monitor its progress.
Southwestern Gulf of Mexico
Another system has made its way from the Caribbean, across the Yucatan Peninsula and into the southwestern Gulf of Mexico.
"As this system drifts over the warm waters of the southwestern part of the Gulf of Mexico late this week, it will have a chance to become better organized," Kottlowski stated.
The system will produce drenching showers and locally gusty thunderstorms along the coast of the southwestern Gulf of Mexico the next couple of days.
This system will then drift into the Mexico mainland this weekend and may not have enough time to get very strong before doing so. However, even a disturbance, depression or storm would still bring the potential for torrential rain, flooding and mudslides. Veracruz, Mexico, was hit hard by Tropical Storm Fernand in late August.
Monitoring Other Systems
There are several other systems being watched over the next few days in the Atlantic Basin. One is just to the northeast of Gabrielle. Another is over the central Atlantic. A third is a disturbance currently drifting westward across Africa.RELATED ON SKYE: Stunning Hurricane Photos from Space