Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Relief Headed for Texas...in One Form or Two?

After setting record high temperatures of 110+ in many areas (some of which were all time records, or tied for all time records) since Saturday, has the intense heat finally peaked in the Lone Star state this summer?  I think it may have (or it is in the process of, depending on exactly where you're located).

Today will be another scorcher, with high's of 100-105+ in many areas, and many records to be set again, but several changes are about to take place in the atmosphere that will lead to some temperature relief - and possibly some relief in the drought department, as well!

The above satellite image was taken just a few moments ago.  I have highlighted a tropical disturbance located roughly between Cuba and the Yucatan.  It is just drifting very slowly Westward at the moment, with not a lot in the way of organization taking place at the present time, however that is likely to change in a few days...

Below is a snapshot of the latest Global Forecasting System (GFS) computer model, valid 1am CDT this morning.  I have circled the aforementioned tropical disturbance in yellow on that image as well:

The same GFS computer model shows the disturbance becoming better organized out over the northwest Gulf of Mexico (yellow circled area again) in this image valid 7pm CDT this Saturday:

...and by 1am CDT Monday, Labor Day, morning, it is forecasting what looks like either a Tropical Depression, or perhaps even Tropical Storm "Lee" along the Texas or Louisiana coast: 

At the same time on the image above, I've noted a rather decent cold front that is forecast to be moving Southward into Texas.  A combination of cooler air behind the front, as well as increased cloud cover and possibly, dare I say it, rain from the tropical disturbance will lead to a dramatic cool down across much of the region by Labor Day.

Of course, we'll have to watch the progress of the tropical disturbance to see exactly what impact it may have, rain-wise or otherwise, on Texas and surrounding states, but at least we have something to look forward to, and the first decent looking chance of some widespread rain for at least part of the state in a long time.

I'm sure you also couldn't help but notice the large "blob" on the GFS model out over the Atlantic.  By that time we'll be dealing with Hurricane Katia, and likely a major hurricane at that.  The $64,000 question, of course, is whether she'll track more toward the West, the Northwest or turn out to sea as she approaches the U.S. East coast later next week (see notations on the image below, valid at the same time as the one above):

Stay tuned...we've got a lot to watch in the upcoming days!  If you have plans for this Labor Day Weekend (particularly the 2nd half of it) along the Texas or Louisiana coasts, keep a close eye on the latest updates...

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