The next named storm could be a monster hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico

An area of ​​disorganized activity a couple of miles east of the eastern Caribbean Sea will likely be the next tropical storm — named Hermine — in the next few days, possibly even the next few hours, according to the National Hurricane Center. .

This small group of storms has the attention of meteorologists because forecast models in both the Americas and Europe have consistently shown it developing into a tropical system and entering the Gulf of Mexico, although the models don’t have the best track record in forecasting that far. .

“The fact that almost every computer model out there has this developing into a westward-moving hurricane is absolutely worrisome,” CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said.

There is a 70 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression in the next 48 hours and a 90 percent chance of developing in the next five days, the hurricane center said. So development is likely, but the exact direction is still up for debate.

“Well, there’s a lot of uncertainty right now,” Maria Torres, a spokeswoman for the hurricane center, told CNN. “But yes, it’s something we’re looking at and monitoring closely as we go into the weekend and into early next week.”

Over the next few days, the disturbance is expected to move west-northwestward across the Southern Windward Islands — off the eastern Caribbean coast — and then move into the central Caribbean Sea later in the week, the hurricane center said Wednesday morning.

By the end of next week, both models show the storm entering the Gulf of Mexico.

American models show the storm as a major and possibly major hurricane. It shows landfall in the Florida Panhandle by September 30th. The European model has the southern part of Florida hit a day earlier, but a much smaller but almost as intense storm.

If the storm system moves into the Gulf as forecast models suggest, conditions are ripe for development.

“The water is very warm, and the atmosphere is very conducive to rapid development,” Myers said.

Conditions in the Gulf of Mexico are favorable for strengthening the system, which it will do very quickly, Torres told CNN.

It has been a slow to above average hurricane season. Only one storm has made landfall in a US territory, and no hurricanes have made landfall or threatened the contiguous United States.

Now, a week after the peak of the hurricane season, the tropics appear to have reawakened, and forecasters worry that people have let their guard down.

“After a nice start, the Atlantic hurricane season has picked up quickly,” tweeted Phil Klotzbach, a researcher at Colorado State University (CSU).

“People tend to let their guard down and think, oh yeah, we’re out of the woods,” Torres said. “But the truth is, the season is still on. We’re still in September; we’ve still got October to go. Anything that comes up in the Atlantic or the Caribbean is something we have to watch very closely.”

The Atlantic hurricane season ends on November 30.

Four times a day, the American forecast model and the European model provide an updated forecast. And after each run, meteorologists will tweet what they think.

Regardless, if you live in the Caribbean, Florida and other Gulf Coast states, pay attention and see what the National Hurricane Center says when it’s strong enough to be named a storm. The track it emits at that time will give an increasingly good indication of what may happen.