Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Keeping an Eye on 1st Hurricane Potential of Season for U.S. Gulf Coast...

An area of disturbed weather is taking shape in the tropics near the Yucatan Peninsula today (red circled area on the visible satellite image above).  A Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to visit the region this afternoon, and this system is very likely to be named a Tropical Depression or Storm in the next 24-48 hours.

Computer model forecast solutions are all over the place with this system so far, but the general consensus in the last 12-18 hours is focusing on eventual, direct impacts on the northcentral or northeast Gulf Coast (and I agree with that assessment at this time):

The HWRF computer model is the most "bullish" so far, forecasting a hit by a formidable hurricane along the Florida coast late this weekend or early next week:

I would caution that "upgrades" in the HWRF model earlier this year seem to have resulted in its drastically "over forecasting" the intensity of just about every tropical system so far this season.  With that said, folks along the Gulf Coast need to keep a close eye on the development of this system, as some degree of impact from what will likely be a hurricane can be expected later this weekend or early next week.  The good news is that we still have some time to watch the system and gauge its true intensity before it directly impacts the U.S. coast.

In the meantime, moisture from this system will spread West into an already water logged eastern Mexico, as well as much of southern Texas and eventually the upper Texas and Louisiana coasts over the next 2-3 days.  The accumulated rainfall forecast from the WPC for the period today through 7pm CDT Saturday is shown below:

Again, if you live across the Gulf Coast from Texas through Florida, and especially the northcentral and northeastern parts of the Gulf Coast, please keep a very close eye on this system over the coming days. As always, you can track the progression of this and any other system with potential U.S. impacts on WeatherGuidance's Tropical Weather Homepage.

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