A disturbance over the Caribbean, Invest 91L, is of particular note for meteorologists. The storm is gathering in power and speed and threatens to become a tropical depression. If it does so, it will be named Tropical Storm Gamma, as it is occurring very late in an already-crowded hurricane season.
The Atlantic has seen a historic 24 named storms this season, and there are still two months to go in the official hurricane season. Should this disturbance become a tropical storm, it’ll represent a record-shattering twenty-fourth named storm. The storm is currently developing off the coast of Mexico, and could be pulled over the Yucatan.
Meteorologists are keeping an eye on Invest 91L as it strengthens over the Gulf of Mexico. The storm could become an intense issue for the mainland of Mexico and the US, and could even impact parts of Cuba depending on how it forms.
Should the storm follow its current trajectory, it could cause issues for the East Coast of Mexico and the Gulf Coast of the US.
Currently, before even becoming a tropical storm, Invest 91L is threatening to soak Southern Mexico and Central America. Cancun, Merida, Carmen, Belize City, and numerous other cities in the region. Flash flood warnings and mudslide warnings are not uncommon this time of year in Southern Mexico and Central America.
The disturbance is still over open water to the south and west of Cuba, off the East Coast of southern Mexico. The longer it spends over open, warm water, the more opportunity it has to develop into a more serious storm. As meteorologists track the storm and model it using computer simulations, a timetable becomes clearer.
Some now expect to know whether the storm will develop into something more serious by early next week. Speculation holds that Invest 91L could be a tropical storm by Monday, making it a threat to both Mexico and the US. The storm would be historic, as the first (and, of course, earliest) storm to be named Gamma by the NOAA.
Following the name Gamma, other letters of the Greek alphabet, from Epsilon through Omega, could be used. The only other time that the NOAA has reverted to Greek letters to name storms was in 2005, a record-setting hurricane season. So far, 2020 has tied that season, and is on track to break its records with even more tropical storms expected to form over the Atlantic.