Sunday, June 14, 2015

All Eyes on the Gulf

As we head into the upcoming week, NHC is keeping its eyes on a broad area of low pressure in the Gulf of Mexico. Most of the rain with this feature is mostly on the eastern half. There is still some dry air on the Western side keeping it from gaining strength, but this road block may be short-lived,

The Yucatan Peninsula is getting plenty of rain and will continue through Monday.

At this time of year, most tropical activity tends to develop in the Gulf or Northwestern Caribbean Sea and aim either for Texas or Central Florida.

In this case it is most likely headed for Texas.

A recon plane investigated this area of clouds and rain on Sunday, and this is what they found.

Hurricane Hunter Data:

  • They detected a broad area of low pressure basically in the middle of the Gulf. There is also a little wrinkle in the atmosphere near the surface ( a trough ), and another low pressure spin in the upper levels of the atmosphere. In essence, the atmosphere over the Gulf is a bit of a mess.
  • However this mess is not well defined. Showers and storms associated with it are still disorganized.
  • Recon detected a large area of winds over 39 mph (tropical storm force winds) well away from the alleged center of circulation.
  • The current upper level winds are keeping it in check but they should relax in 24 - 48 hours allowing for a depression or a tropical storm to form. 
  • NHC is giving this feature an 80% chance for development throughout the next 5 days. If it develops it will be called "Bill"

Another Hurricane Hunter aircraft will investigate this system Monday morning.

So if it develops, where is it headed?

  • Even if it doesn't become a depression or storm, this area of disturbed weather will aim for the Texas/Louisiana coast. Most models are in fair agreement, the center should impact Texas. These systems tend drop plenty of rain over a large area, so all the Gulf States should be watching closely.
  • Rain could approach the area by Monday or Tuesday, and with the ground already saturated from recent rain, it could lead to flooding. 

What should we prepare for?
High pressure over the Southeastern US, will keep the mess in the Gulf away from us but it will also keep us with a chance of rain just about every day. So expect the possibility of heavy rainfall at any time.

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