Developing Weather System in Gulf Prompts Alerts and Evacuations

Tropical disturbance over the southern Gulf, dubbed as Invest 96L by the National Hurricane Center, is expected to develop into a tropical storm or hurricane over the next few days. As a result, the entire U.S Gulf coast has been put on alert, and some companies have already started evacuating non-essential personnel from the region.
According to Michael Brennan, a senior hurricane expert, the low-pressure system located near the northern Yucatan Peninsula was still disorganized. However, the falling surface pressures in that region of the Gulf are creating favorable conditions for the development of tropic depression in the next couple of days.
The latest report from the National Hurricane Center indicates that there is a 70 percent chance for the system to transform into a tropical cyclone over the weekend.
Meanwhile, the Florida Division of Emergency Management has warned people residing in Central and South Florida to prepare for possible flooding rains. As per Matt Zibura, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service (NSW) in Jacksonville, there is the possibility of some storms hitting Gainesville and Ocala. However, the intensity would probably be not as strong as in Central Florida.
Amy Godsey, State Meteorologist, stated in a press release that thunderstorms are possible in most parts of Central and South Florida in coming days due to as the tropical moisture moves into the state. Godsey advised that people residing in Florida should pay attention to the warnings issued by the NSW as well as local authorities. Amy also urged people not to drive through flooded roads.
While the forecasters are still not sure about both the development and track of the system, some oil and gas companies in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico have begun evacuating non-essential crew.
Murphy Oil Corporation stated that it had commenced evacuation of the non-essential workers. While the operations are still on, they are watching the system.
Barb Hesterman, spokesperson for the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, said that though the operations were running normally, they are moving out non-essential staff.
Forecasters said the interests located along the United States Gulf Coast should closely watch the progress of the system over the weekend. Several early computer model forecasts predict the system’s track toward Florida.


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