The weather forecast for this upcoming week has become quite a bit more interesting. There is unusually good weather model support that a low pressure will move into the Southwest Gulf of Mexico in a few days. This low then expected to move north towards the Texas coast. From there there are a few different possibilities that would result in drastically different forecasts. Before we dive into all that let’s start off with what we have right now.
An area of low pressure is located just inland near Chetumal, Mexico. This low is expected to move west/northwest over the Yucatan Peninsula this weekend. By Monday it is possible that this system will into the warm waters of the Bay of Campeche, or the extreme southwest Gulf of Mexico. From there we’ll have to take a look at what weather models propose.
For the sake of keeping things simple and not over-analyzing weather model data I won’t go into the timing detail of each model’s output. I’ve put together a graphic showing what three main weather models suggest track-wise for the low pressure. Should impacts to Texas occur they would start off late Wednesday in the Rio Grande Valley and continue into next weekend.
The european weather model takes the low pressure into the western Gulf of Mexico on a northeast trajectory before turning it north with a landfall in far western Louisiana. From there the European model has the low moving north across far western Louisiana. Out of the three weather models the European is the most aggressive making this system a moderate to strong tropical storm at landfall. The American and Canadian models show a weaker system that either remains a tropical depression or does not become tropical at all. They have it moving across or along the coastline of the Rio Grande Valley northeast into Southeast Texas. Both models then turn our system north into East Texas and Northeast Texas.
Those tracks take into account that the storm actually does develop. If it does not than we’re just talking about a hypothetical event. However many of the weather models are in fairly good agreement that a tropical low will develop. Once it develops we’ll have to figure out where its going to move. Regardless of it being a tropical storm, tropical depression, or just a regular low it would have very rich moisture to work with. Like Bill in June the system would likely produce prolific rainfall along and just east of its path. Depending on the amount of organization folks within about a hundred miles west of where the low tracks could also receive quite a bit of rain. This is all assuming the low develops and makes landfall in Texas. If it passes too far to our east we’re going to be left relatively dry with north winds. The rain forecast shown for the Texas Panhandle and West Texas is from a separate system unrelated to our potential tropical low.
At this point it’s a waiting game to see if the tropical low develops as weather models depict over the next few days. If it does develop then our next concern will be the path of the low and who could get slammed by heavy rains. We’ll also have to watch for organization and it to become a tropical depression or storm. If that occurs than strong winds and coastal concerns would also come into play. Again all hypothetical until we actually have a storm.