The National Weather Service is predicting an area of storms off the eastern coast of Mexico will organize and could become a named tropical or subtropical storm by Thursday night.
According to the NWS, the system is tracking to the northeast across the Gulf of Mexico and could potentially have a weather impact on Manatee County and other areas of Florida’s Gulf Coast by the weekend regardless of development.
There are currently no warnings or advisories in place for Manatee County, however, the Weather Service has issued a gale warning well offshore of Anna Maria Island, stretching from the Tampa area to Fort Meyers with offshore wave action increasing in intensity.
“The low is forecast to approach the northern or northeastern Gulf Coast on Friday or Saturday and regardless of development, the system is likely to produce gusty winds and rough surf over those areas,” according to the Weather Service, which advises residents to continue to monitor updated forecasts.
If necessary, a reconnaissance aircraft will investigate the system later Thursday afternoon.
As of early Thursday, the weekend forecast for Manatee County calls for rain chances to begin increasing by Friday, up to 50 percent throughout the day and evening.
Rain chances increase to 70 percent on Saturday with sustained winds as high as 18 mph.
Rain chances begin to decrease by Sunday to 40 percent and continue to fall to 20 percent on Monday.
High temperatures through Monday are expected to be in the mid to upper 80s.