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WEDNESDAY UPDATE: “This system has the potential to become a major hurricane”

The National Hurricane Center has increased the chances for tropical development to 80 percent for the western Caribbean and western Gulf of Mexico late this week and weekend.

The National Weather Service released this forecast tract Wednesday afternoon.

A tropical depression is likely to form late this week over the northwestern Caribbean Sea, and move across the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and into the Gulf of Mexico this weekend, where conditions are expected to be favorable for development, according to the National Weather Service.

“This system has the potential to become a major hurricane and could bring dangerous impacts from storm surge, wind and heavy rainfall to parts of Texas and/or Louisiana early next week,” Warning Coordination Meteorologist Roger Erickson said.

As a reminder, weather models rely on good initialization features.

Since this system is still a tropical wave covering a large region of the Caribbean, there is no low level circulation to point out exactly where this system is, Erickson said.

Poor initialization is part of what leads weather models to show a wide variety of landfall scenarios.

“People should monitor the progress of this system and ensure they have their hurricane plan in place,” Erickson said.