An Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft investigated the area of disturbed weather (dubbed "Invest 95") in the Bay of Campeche this afternoon. While they did find a closed circulation (an area of low pressure), they did not find a core of sustained winds strong enough to classify the system as a Depression. This is likely due to the fact that middle & upper level winds are still causing some shear over the system, preventing it from fully organizing. That condition, however, is expected to change over the next 12 hours, which will allow the system to undergo some fairly rapid organization.
Below is the latest image from the nearby Alvarado, Mexico radar:
You can see some of the outer feeder bands of precipitation beginning to flow Westward into the radar's view. The center of the system is off to the right (or East) of the image.
The system continues to maintain a slow West/Northwestward drift, and this motion is expected to continue for the next few days. Below is the latest computer model forecast track of the system over the next 3-5 days, which continues this same general motion:
It is quite likely that the system will become at least a depression during the next 12-24 hours. If surface winds become sustained at 39 mph or higher, we could jump right into Tropical Storm Arlene - which would be the first named storm of the 2011 Atlantic Season.
Regardless of the eventual classification of the system, very heavy rains and gusty winds will continue to be produced across portions of Central America and the Mexican coast (particularly the Mexican states of Tamaulipas and Veracruz) over the next few days.
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