Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"Named Storm" or Not...Heavy Rains are in the Making...

The above image is a satellite picture taken a short while ago of a disturbance located in the western Gulf of Mexico (click the image to enlarge it).  This is the same system I've been blogging about for the past several days.  The 50% notation to the right is the Tropical Prediction Center (aka National Hurricane Center) forecast of the probability of the system becoming at least a Tropical Depression before making landfall over the next 48 hours.  

As I remarked in my last post on this system, it was less organized when compared to Alex before reaching the Yucatan Peninsula, which seems to have taken a toll on its ability to strengthen.  While that's obviously good news as far as high wind potential is concerned, it will still produce widespread, heavy rain across much of the same areas hit hard by Alex last week.  This will result in a significant flooding threat across portions of Eastern Mexico and Texas initially, then spreading Northeast into the central Plains through the weekend.

The image below depicts the HPC forecast rainfall amounts over the coming 5 days. As you can see, widespread amounts of 4+ inches are forecast from parts of central Texas into southeast Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas, with widespread 1-4 inch rainfall totals forecast on either side of those areas.

As I've said before, we can't look a gift horse in the mouth rainfall-wise during the otherwise hot and dry summer months, but folks in already rain-soaked areas need to stay alert and be prepared to move to higher ground if in a flood-proned area.
The above image depicts the latest computer model guidance as to the eventual track of this system.  Residents of Mexico & Texas (same areas where Alex hit last week) stay alert for the next 24-36 hours as this system approaches.  We'll be able to identify any significant wind threat during the day on Thursday, but at this time it appears to be a "toad choker" situation unfolding as described above.

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