BY: DANIEL MANZO, ABC NEWS
(NEW YORK) — Tropical Storm Gamma has winds of 50 mph this morning and is moving north at 5 mph. The storm is located over the southern Gulf of Mexico and is about 30 Miles north of Rio Lagartos, Mexico.
Torrential rain is occurring with Gamma this morning over the northern Yucatan Peninsula with over 9 inches of rain reported in Cozumel, Mexico.
Gamma is expected to slow down even further today and turn west or west-southwest tonight and Monday.
Gamma will then meander around in the extreme southern Gulf of Mexico for the next few days but, while there could be a brief period of strengthening today, Gamma will weaken again beginning Monday and lasting into Wednesday.
Locally, over 12 inches of rain will be possible in the coming days due to Gamma’s slow movement.
The area at greatest risk for major flash flooding will be in the Mexican States of Campeche, Tabasco, Chiapas and Veracruz, and these heavy rainfall totals could cause mudslides.
Right behind Gamma, there is another disturbance being monitored in the Caribbean Sea.
This tropical wave is expected become a little better organized over the coming days and will likely become a tropical depression during this time frame.
There is currently an 80% chance of tropical formation over the next five days meaning this tropical wave will likely bring some heavy rain to Hispaniola, Jamaica, Cuba and the Cayman Islands during this time frame.
Towards Friday and next weekend, this system may be able to just slip by a weakening meandering Gamma and emerge in the Gulf of Mexico.
There is some computer guidance that indicates this system could strengthen in that time frame and be of interest to the U.S. mainland, though it is too early to determine how some of this will play out.
Meanwhile, there are two other tropical waves in the Atlantic, both of which only have low chances for development and are not a major concern at this time.
Elsewhere, there are localized elevated fire conditions today in California but cooler temperatures and even some Northern California rain are forecast for later this week
In California, the Glass Fire has currently consumed 63,450 acres and is 15% contained.
Saturday should provide better conditions for fire fighters trying to contain the fires, but some locally gusty winds as well as low relative humidity overnight has prompted the National Weather Service to reissue Red Flag Regions for parts of Northern California.
Widespread weather conditions, overall, are trending in the right direction for fire spread and growth in much of the West with better relative humidity and calmer winds.
However, there is still a localized chance of gusty winds and low relative humidity, especially in Northern California today which is expected to be hot through much of the state.
The good news is that a major pattern change looks to be in sight.
First, some of the hot air that has been plaguing much of the western U.S. will begin to be suppressed to the south which will allow cooler air to move into parts of California and even into the desert southwest.
Looking ahead, a well-organized Pacific storm will arrive later this week and likely bring areas of beneficial rain to Northern California.
It is a little too early to determine the exact impacts of this storm and whether it could cause a brief period of gusty winds.
However, it is good news to see that rain is in the forecast later this week for parts of Northern California.
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