In a post last week I mentioned that we would need to keep an eye on the Gulf of Mexico for possible tropical development late this week or this weekend. Indeed, an area of disturbed weather is beginning to show up on visible satellite imagery, as indicated on the image above.
The National Hurricane Center has said that an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft will fly into this disturbance tomorrow afternoon to get a better reading on things.
Until we have the aircraft data available, we can really only go by computer model solutions, as well as the prevailing atmospheric conditions when trying to determine an eventual path. Right now, there are two main solutions. The first brings the system into the eastern Gulf of Mexico through Saturday, then turns it Northeastward across Florida late in the weekend or on Monday. A second scenario would bring the system North - Northwestward into the central Gulf by Saturday, then turn it Westward, eventually threatening the Louisiana or Texas Gulf Coasts by mid-week next week:
Once the data from the aircraft are fed into the models tomorrow, we should get a better read on the situation, but at this time, I am leaning toward the first scenario as being the most likely to take place. The main reason for that is a trough of low pressure which is forecast to develop across the eastern third of the U.S. this weekend. This trough should "draw" the system up toward the North-Northeast under its southern influence, and cause the system to turn toward Florida.
Regardless of the eventual path of this system over the weekend, heavy rainfall will overspread much of central and south Florida through Saturday as showers and thunderstorms increase on the Eastern side of the system.
For additional details including the latest satellite and radar imagery and loops of this system, please visit this dedicated page on our sister site, WeatherGuidance.com.
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