New tropical depression forms; has eyes on the Gulf

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The prolific Atlantic tropical season continued Saturday with a new tropical depression in the western Caribbean Sea.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Season classified the area of low pressure as “Tropical Depression Twenty-Eight,” but strengthening is expected and the system will likely become Tropical Storm “Zeta” Sunday.

The latest track of the tropical system has it moving northwest toward the Gulf of Mexico through Monday. It will likely move into the southern Gulf by Tuesday morning and could intensify into a weak hurricane by Tuesday afternoon or evening.

4pm Advisory: Track of newly formed Tropical Depression Twenty-Eight

At this time, none of the weather models indicate a powerful tropical system developing. In fact, the National Hurricane Center forecasts Zeta would be a tropical storm – not a hurricane – when it moves closer to the northern Gulf coast by late Wednesday. Stronger upper level winds and somewhat cooler water temperatures in this area would likely cause it to weaken.

Whatever happens, plenty of moisture will likely move into the Wiregrass by midweek. It could cause flooding issues at some point for us, but it is difficult at this point to determine a specific time frame.

WDHN Chief Meteorologist Ted King, Meteorologist Matthew Wine, and Meteorologist Oscar Fann are closely monitoring this system. We’ll have updates as needed as the system tracks into the Gulf in coming days.

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