Latest Weather Conditions
- LATEST: Current conditions and the forecast
- LATEST: National Hurricane Center
- LATEST: Weather Underground's Tropical Center
- RADAR: Take a look at the latest radar map out of Miami
- FORECAST: Complete local forecast for Naples
- RADAR: Take a look at the latest Florida radar map
- WEB CAMS: Southwest Florida web cams
A tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico could develop into a named storm, but it will likely only mean a rainy weekend for Southwest Florida.The system is expected to stay 300 to 400 miles to the west of the region, with bands of rain spiraling around the center of the storm, said John Patrick, chief meteorologist for ABC-7.
"As far as the weekend outlook goes, yes we're going to see rain, but it's not going to rain consistently throughout the weekend," he said. "I don't see anything that's going to bring it to Charlotte, Lee or Collier counties."
If the system were to become a tropical storm, it would be called Debby and would be the fourth named storm of the year. There has never been four named storms by the end of June.
"We feel this system will become better organized this weekend and should become Tropical Storm Debby later Saturday or on Sunday," said Dan Kottlowski, expert senior meteorologist for Accuweather.
As the system organizes this weekend, tropical moisture will stream north into the eastern Gulf and parts of the Florida Peninsula. Torrential rains could fall from Naples and Fort Myers through Tampa and Orlando while creating rough surf and poor beach weather for many.
On Friday the disorganized system was located near Cancun, Mexico, and the northern coast of the Yucatan peninsula. The storm is expected to head north this weekend into the central Gulf of Mexico, where it will have opportunity to strengthen.
The waters over the Gulf of Mexico are warm enough to sustain a tropical system. Along with that, the winds in the upper parts of the atmosphere or what meteorologists call "wind shear" are relatively light.
"The combination of low shear and warm water will support strengthening of this storm into a depression then a tropical storm this weekend," Kottlowski said. "If the storm can avoid shear, it will probably become a hurricane early next week,"