Just two days after Hurricane Michael devastated the Florida Panhandle town of Mexico Beach, forecasters earlier on Friday were warning there’s still more hurricane season left as a new disturbance sharing Michael’s humble beginnings was taking shape in the Caribbean Sea.
The National Hurricane Center was monitoring a broad tropical disturbance heading toward the Yucatan Peninsula in the Caribbean.
Forecasters, however, say that broad area of low pressure is heading toward Central America and development "is no longer anticipated," dropping its chances of becoming the next named storm at 0 percent.
On Friday morning, National Weather Service forecaster Rodney Wynn said it was too early to tell what, if anything, that disturbance could become. The Hurricane Center had given it a 30 percent chance of forming into something more over the next five days.
However, eight days ago, there was another disturbance in the Caribbean, heading toward the Yucatan Peninsula with a 30 percent chance of forming into something more. That disturbance became Michael, the strongest hurricane to ever hit the Florida Panhandle.
"A lot of people look at storms forming in the Atlantic, but Caribbean ones are the ones that are really worrisome," Wynn said. "Michael went from just forming to a Category 4 in just a couple of days."
Looking at the historical register, which goes back to 1851, forecaster Tony Hurt said the storms that impact Florida the most are late-season storms that form in the Caribbean Sea.
Wynn said a number of factors would have determined what became of the disturbance. Wind shear can determine its course, it can break up over the mountains of the Yucatan, or still-warm waters can fuel it and cause it to take shape.
People should still stay vigilant, Wynn had cautioned.
"Things could change within that five-day period," he said. "That’s why we tell people always be prepared. What's to say next week we won’t get something like Michael again? It's still warm enough. It's still hurricane season until the end of November."
In this case, it appears the change may definitely be for the better.
Contact Daniel Figueroa IV at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @danuscripts.