New tropical activity could affect region recently swept by deadly Tropical Storm Alberto

By Alex Sosnowski,

As a new disturbance rolls across the southwestern Gulf of Mexico this weekend, conditions will be favorable to spawn a tropical depression or storm just days after Alberto formed in the same region, AccuWeather meteorologists say.

The system will spread another dose of heavy rain into northeastern Mexico and parts of southern Texas.


"This new feature in the southwestern Gulf that we are monitoring is a disturbance on the Central America gyre that is breaking away and rolling west-northwestward this weekend," AccuWeather Lead Tropical Meteorologist Alex DaSilva said.

This image showing a large gyre over southern Mexico and Central America was captured on Friday, June 21, 2024. (AccuWeather Enhanced RealVue&trade Satellite)

A gyre is a large, slowly spinning low pressure area that often enhances showers and thunderstorms in its circle of influence. A gyre over Central America and southern Mexico is common this time of the year and can contribute to tropical storm or hurricane formation over the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and the eastern Pacific Ocean.


The system has a high chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm. If it fails to develop before rolling ashore in Georgia late this week, it would be the second such system of the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season. The next two names on the list for 2024 are Beryl and Chris.

As this system approaches the northeastern Mexican coast, it will bring heavy rain and coastal impacts such as storm surge flooding and rip currents to many of the same areas that were impacted by Alberto. Most of this new storm's focus will be on northeastern Mexico and the lower Rio Grande Valley.

DaSilva explained that impacts along the central and northern Texas coast from this system may be significantly less than Alberto's as this new system is somewhat more compact and may track a bit farther to the south in Mexico. Alberto's broad circulation brought significant storm surge flooding as far to the north as the upper Texas coast.


However, even a lower-grade storm surge along the Texas coast can lead to flooding problems, especially since some protective buffers may have been compromised and access roads may require repair in the wake of Alberto.


Widespread rainfall of 4-8 inches is anticipated in northeastern Mexico with some areas along the coast and inland on the east-facing slopes of the mountains picking up 8-12 inches. Localized amounts may be even higher. Since some of these areas were hit with similar rainfall from Alberto just a few days earlier, the flash flood and mudslide risk is significantly higher.

Portions of the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas may experience flash flooding as well as another dose of beneficial rain, due to long-term drought conditions.

Beach and boating interests should be prepared for rapidly deteriorating conditions this weekend. Once the center moves over open waters of the southwestern Gulf, after crossing Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, development may be swift as winds and waves increase.

In the wake of the southwestern Gulf system, the Atlantic may trend to be quiet once again for many days. However, after the flurry of tropical activity dies down, AccuWeather meteorologists forecast that the Atlantic will become a hotbed later in the summer and into the fall with a bumper crop of tropical storms and hurricanes.

A significant number of tropical systems may experience rapid strengthening. Where this occurs near land, it could significantly raise the risk to lives and property.


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