On the first day of Hurricane Season, Tropical Depression TWO forms in the Northeast Gulf of Mexico

No watches or warnings have been issued for the Gulf Coast
1st forecast for Tropical Depression TWO in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, as of 4pm Thursday.
1st forecast for Tropical Depression TWO in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, as of 4pm Thursday.(KBTX)
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 3:57 PM CDT
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MIAMI, Florida (KBTX) - On the first official day of Hurricane Season, Tropical Depression Two has formed in the Northeastern Gulf of Mexico. As several bursts of thunderstorms increased around the center of circulation Thursday, Hurricane Hunters were able to locate a closed center of circulation to deem it a tropical system. While upper-level winds are expected to become less hospitable for this system by the weekend, the current forecast gives this a chance to become Tropical Storm Arlene sometime Thursday evening or Friday.

Here is the latest information about this tropical depression, as of 4 p.m.

Maximum Wind SpeedMovementCentral PressureLocation
35mphWest-Northweast at 2mph1007mb305mi west-northwest of Ft. Meyers, Florida

The depression is currently meandering the Gulf of Mexico after a burst of thunderstorm activity began Wednesday evening, persisting through the day Thursday. Over the next 12 to 18 hours, the steering currents of the atmosphere are expected to remain light, keeping what could become a brief tropical storm close to the current location. Starting late Friday, an upper-level system will not only shift this to the south-southwest but begin to weaken it as upper-level winds become stronger. The National Hurricane Center notes that very warm Gulf of Mexico surface temperatures and cold upper-level temperatures are likely helping to create the instability for the increased thunderstorms Thursday.

However, by Friday night into Saturday, the same northwesterly flow steering the system is also expected to rapidly increase the shear as the system becomes positioned on the upstream side of the upper-level trough, where subsidence may inhibit additional convection. Thus, weakening is forecast to begin by Friday night and the latest forecast degenerates the cyclone into a remnant low by 60-h with dissipation shortly thereafter.

National Hurricane Center - Tropical Depression Two 4pm Forecast Discussion

Due to the small wind field around this depression center and the slow motion, there is not currently a need for any watches or warnings along the Gulf Coast. If this strengthens to become a tropical storm, it would be named “Arlene.” This is the second tropical depression of the season because the National Hurricane Center determined a subtropical storm formed off the northeast coast in mid-January after a reassessment of the weather system.

There are no expected impacts to Texas due to this tropical system. The thunderstorms and low-pressure system that it formed from, however, did start as stormy weather in West and South Texas last weekend.