Above is the latest visible satellite image of the tropical disturbance that we've been talking about near the Yucatan for the past several days. The corresponding infrared satellite image is shown below:
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has dubbed the system "Invest 95L", which means they are paying a bit more attention for signs of development. This initiates close-up satellite surveillance, such as the images you see above, as well as hurricane hunter aircraft flights into the system for more detailed observations. All of this data is fed into the computer models which should also produce a more reliable product there as well...
Thunderstorms are becoming more organized near the center of the disturbance this morning, and wind gusts to tropical storm force have been observed by ships passing through the Yucatan Channel (in the Northeast quadrant of the system).
The latest radar image from the Cancun, Mexico site shows less intense precipitation taking place on the Western side of the system at this time:
This corresponds well with the satellite imagery above, which suggests that the stronger thunderstorm activity is currently taking place on the Eastern side of the system.
Speaking of the computer models, the GFS continues to show this system meeting with with a cold front and moving East/Northeast toward Florida by mid-week. The latest image valid 8pm EDT on Tuesday, 10-18-11, is shown below:
This trend matches up rather well with the remainder of the model consensus, which is shown on the image below:
Regardless as to whether or not the system has tropical characteristics when it impacts Florida late Tuesday and Wednesday, widespread, heavy rainfall will be a major problem across the region, as alluded to in the outlook that I posted yesterday. In the meantime, we'll need to keep a close eye on this system today and Monday in an effort to determine what other impacts may potentially be felt across Florida...
If you enjoy reading 'The Original Weather Blog', please be sure to "like" our facebook page!