A broad area of low pressure is located near the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. This disorganized low pressure continues to produce showers and thunderstorms. While this system has become more organized in the past few days, we continue to lack a defined low-level circulation. Once that defined low-level circulation develops this system will likely be designated a tropical depression. That defined low-level circulation has a high likelihood of forming by Tuesday. In fact, the National Hurricane Center gives this system an 80%-90% chance of developing over the next few days.
Without that defined low-level circulation the ensuing forecast is quite complicated. Think of the predicament this way. Models have an ‘idea’ of where this system will go, but it hasn’t even reached the ‘starting’ point yet. If this LLC (low-level circulation) forms 50 miles further east than a model expects it could end up making landfall on the Gulf Coast 300 miles further east than it shows. If the LLC forms further west the system may not get pulled north and would instead just move west into Mexico. Hopefully, that explains the extreme complexity meteorologists and the weather community are dealing with today. Throwing a dart at a map and picking that spot as the eventual track would probably be just as accurate. That’s why we’re going to be patient and let this system get to the starting point before we try and determine where it’ll end up at the finish.
One thing weather models are in someone of an agreement on is that this system should be approaching the Gulf Coast on Wednesday or Thursday. The actual location is just too uncertain to even guess at this point. Models have trended further west today which does affirm the need for all those with interests along the Texas coast to keep a close eye on the forecast. This system could very well become a tropical storm, but the atmospheric conditions (wind shear) should prevent this from becoming a hurricane. The primary hazards would be prolific rains, flooding, rough surf, dangerous rip currents, and some gusty winds. The heaviest rains would be near and to the east of the center of circulation. We’ll get more detailed and precise in the next 48 hours, but don’t go canceling your plans based on this forecast. This system could end up anywhere from Texas to the Florida Panhandle. I’ll leave you with the Tropical Weather Outlook from the National Hurricane Center that was issued at 7 PM CT. Those near or along the coast should ensure they keep up to date with the forecasts this week.
A broad area of low pressure located near the east coast of the
Yucatan Peninsula continues to produce a large area of disorganized
showers and thunderstorms along with winds to gale force several
hundred miles to the east and northeast of the center. Although
surface pressures are falling over the northwestern Caribbean Sea,
the low still lacks a well-defined center of circulation. However,
gradual development of this system is expected while it moves
slowly north-northwestward across the Yucatan Peninsula overnight,
and then over the southern or central Gulf of Mexico on Monday and
Tuesday, where a tropical or subtropical cyclone is likely to form.
Regardless of development, heavy rains are expected to continue over
portions of Central America, the Yucatan Peninsula, Jamaica, the
Cayman Islands, and western Cuba during the next few days. An Air
Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate
this system on Monday, if necessary. For more information on this
system, please see the High Seas Forecast issued by the Tropical
Analysis and Forecast Branch.
* Formation chance through 48 hours…high…80 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days…high…90 percent.