Hurricane Florence will not impact our weather in Texas. For our neck of the woods, we’re watching a tropical disturbance located on the northeast tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. Shower and thunderstorm activity has increased and ship observations report gusty winds in the Yucatan Channel. Upper-level winds are expected to decrease over the next three days across the western Gulf of Mexico.
The National Hurricane Center had this to say with their 1 PM CT tropical weather outlook.
Satellite images and surface observations indicate that the area of disturbed weather located over the extreme northwestern Caribbean Sea and the southeastern Gulf of Mexico is gradually becoming better organized. Ship reports indicate that this system is producing strong gusty winds over the Yucatan Channel. Upper-level winds are forecast to become more conducive for development, and a tropical depression is likely to form by Thursday night while the disturbance moves across the western Gulf of Mexico. If necessary, an Air Force Reconnaissance plane will investigate the system tomorrow. Interests across northeastern Mexico and the coasts of Texas and Louisiana should monitor the progress of this system. Regardless of development, heavy rainfall and gusty winds are expected to continue over western Cuba and portions of the northeastern Yucatan Peninsula today.
We note that while a majority of the 12Z ECMWF ensembles do develop a tropical depression in the western Gulf, only a small percentage bring the system up to tropical storm strength. Rain and potential flooding continues to be the primary focus with this system. #txwx pic.twitter.com/eSbhusA3r4
— Texas Storm Chasers (@TxStormChasers) September 11, 2018
With the decrease in wind shear and warm sea surface temperatures, we’re expecting the system will be able to organize. Weather models are not overly enthusiastic about much intensification, however. Those that actually develop the system keep it at tropical depression strength. Only a few actually bring this system up to tropical storm strength. That leads credence that heavy rain and flooding will be the primary threat – regardless of whatever this system becomes. As always we’re going to keep an eye on this system. It is not unheard of for systems to rapidly develop. While no weather model guidance indicates that is going to happen, we’ll still watch for that small possibility. Even if the system became more organized than expected, this system seems unlikely to approach hurricane strength.
Saturated soils due to recent heavy rains may allow flooding to materialize more easily. The eventual axis of heaviest rains will depend on the system’s track later this week. At this time it looks like we may see amounts of 3 to 6 inches along the track. A stalled frontal boundary will continue daily rain chances along the coast in advance of the weekend system. Some of the rain totals indicated above take the pre-system rains into account. As confidence in one particular solution increases we’ll be able to narrow down the highest rain totals and by association, the highest likelihood for any flooding.