Sunday, August 25, 2013

Tropics Looking to "Heat Up" - Right on Schedule...

After a relatively quiet start to the season (in the Atlantic), the tropics are starting to show signs of "waking up" as we head toward the traditionally busy month of September...

A disturbance over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico has become well organized during the past 24 hours, and is likely to become a Tropical Depression or perhaps even a weak Tropical Storm before making landfall in Mexico tonight into early Monday.  I've circled the area in red on the latest visible satellite image:

Fortunately, with the system so close to land, there is little opportunity for significant strengthening, and this will mainly be a heavy rain and potential flooding/mudslide event for the impacted areas.

Meanwhile, a string of tropical waves are about to emerge from Africa into the Atlantic basin, the first two circled in red and yellow on the satellite image below: 

There is still quite a bit of African dust that could inhibit vigorous development early in the week, as shown by this computer model dust plume forecast from NASA valid 7pm CDT Monday:

...but the mass is forecast to thin out somewhat by 7pm CST on Wednesday:

So, as the week progresses, it appears as though conditions will gradually become more favorable for one or more of these disturbances to hold together and become better organized as they move Westward.

Conditions are likely to become even more favorable for development in the Atlantic as we head into at least the early part of September, so please don't let your guard down just because we've had a "slow start" this season.  There's still plenty of hurricane season yet to come, and as I always say, it only takes 1 system to hit the wrong place at the wrong time for us to have a very bad result.

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