FIRST WARNING: Tropical storm likely to form in the Gulf this week

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Atlantic hurricane season is heating up this week as we watch the likelihood of a tropical storm forming in the Gulf.

We are tracking a low pressure system over Georgia on Monday, drifting southward into the Gulf of Mexico late Tuesday or Wednesday. National Hurricane Center experts are diagnosing the system with an 80% likelihood of tropical development over the next 5 days once the storm is over the ocean.

Conditions favorable for tropical storm formation include high moisture content in the mid-levels of the atmosphere, low vertical wind shear and warm ocean waters. It appears that these variables will be in place for this system, with the ocean water temperature being the most impressive variable.

Surface water temperatures in the eastern Gulf are anomalously warm.

Forecasting the track and intensity of a system that has yet to even develop is very difficult. Forecast tracks of this potential system are anywhere from South Padre Island to Louisiana, and potential intensity ranges from a weak low pressure system to a potentially more impressive storm.

It is possible that Texas sees some impacts from this system over the coming weekend.

Stay with KXAN and the First Warning Weather team for frequent updates this week. As the system develops, we will gain certainty in the forecast.

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