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Hurricane season begins with tropical disturbance barreling toward Florida

Thursday marks the official launch of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season – and it's starting with a storm already brewing off Florida's coast. 

The National Hurricane Center season is tracking a tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico. In the agency's latest forecast early Thursday morning, it said that the low pressure area over the northeastern area of the Gulf has become "a little more concentrated" throughout the night and that conditions seem to be "marginally favorable" for the storm to develop. 

A low pressure system over the Gulf of Mexico is being monitored by the National Hurricane Center as Atlantic hurricane season kicks off.  NOAA

But that development isn't expected to be significant, the agency said, due to conditions that are expected in the next few days. There's just a 20% chance that it could become a cyclone within the next 48 hours. 

"Regardless," the agency said, "the system could produce heavy rainfall and gusty winds over portions of the Florida Peninsula through this weekend." 

2pm EDT 5/31 Update-- An area of low pressure has formed in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico associated with showers and thunderstorms displaced to its northeast. This system has a low chance (20% 🟡) of formation over the next two days before environmental conditions become…

— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) May 31, 2023

The National Weather Service has said that the Tampa Bay area, which sits along the Gulf Coast, can expect a "rather wet pattern" into Friday as the system continues to hover over the Gulf. Heavy rainfall is considered the main concern of the system. 

The Atlantic hurricane season runs until Nov. 30. The NOAA has predicted that it will be a "near normal" season. At least a dozen named storms are anticipated over the next several months, with between five to nine hurricanes – and only between one and four that are considered "major." 

Li Cohen

Li Cohen is a social media producer and trending content writer for CBS News.

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