|Posted by: LPerezIII, 02:37 AM GMT on Ιούνιος 21, 2012||+0|
By now you have surely been hearing all of the news weathermen, weather bloggers, Jim Cantore, and maybe even your own boss, coworker, or private "armchair" meteorologist talk about the tropical wave in the Gulf and the potential for development over the next few days. Some may even have ventured to take guesses on where it may head and how strong it could get. Lets face it. Weather is interesting and its capricious behavior keeps us on our toes; in a good way at times, but not so good at other times. That is even more true for the residents along the Gulf Coast; especially now and over the next several days as this system progress into the central Gulf of Mexico.
Right now, the system is a tangled mess of sheared and scattered thunderstorms huddled around a broad surface low pressure area. It lacks the organization for any robust development and currently there is so much wind shear due to strong upper level winds out of the southwest that even if it was organized enough to become a depression or storm, it would be struggling to stay together. That's really good news. While June is not typically host to very strong hurricanes, they can happen when the conditions all come together. Thankfully, this is not the case for this disturbance.
A visible satellite image from just before sunset this evening showed the exposed "center" of this broad low as a tiny swirl of low level clouds (encircled and just right of the "L") moving slowly northwestward. That swirl is a center of sorts, but this is a broad low and there can be multiple "centers" of low pressure and tiny swirls. So this is not necessarily where something would develop. Although as the wind shear relaxes in the next 48 hours, possibly enough to allow for some slow organization of the system, an enclosed surface low pressure center could develop causing a burst of thunderstorms which would take the system to the level of tropical depression. OR another scenario...The thunderstorms surrounding the broad low could maintain themselves and a new circulation could form beneath them with the same effect...a Tropical Depression. We're likely 48 hours at the very minimum from that happening. With the amount of shear and the disorganized state of the system, it could be Saturday before development, if any, began to really take shape.
This image shows the amount of mid-level shear. For tropical development to occur, the color over the Gulf would have to be more black and blue vs. the orange and yellow that is there now. The bright colors mean that any storms that form and try to organize are effectively blown over by the upper level wind quelling any potential organization of a tropical system. The shear is forecast to subside slowly over the next couple of days. By then, the system will be near the north central portion of the Gulf of Mexico.
Currently, the models differ on where this system may go and its development potential. It's complicated by several factors. 1) Wind shear 2) a trough digging into the Midwest and 3) a ridge of high pressure forming over Texas. Wind shear is covered and so we will talk about the trough.
The trough has the potential to "pick-up" the disturbance and basically steer it away from TX and take it towards and over Florida and out into the western Atlantic where further development is likely and Tropical Storm Debby could form quite easily. Especially with the very warm Gulf Stream current beneath it. However, less likely, the high pressure ridge forming over Texas could potentially block the disturbance from following the trough eastward. That would cause the system to stall, possibly develop into a depression or tropical storm and then move westward in the direction of TX/Mexico. Historically speaking, most troughs are able to pick these weak systems up and take them away from TX. I am leaning towards that solution as well, but only about 70%. There is a small chance of it stalling and turning more westward.
Whatever the case, it will take time for anything substantial to develop out of this rather messy system. It will be a rain maker too. The HPC (Hydrometeorological Prediction Center) is leaning towards the first scenario as well which would take the system, and all of the rain, towards Florida.
Here is a snapshot of the 5 day rainfall accumulation that could be expected should the system go towards Florida.
Assuming the system eventually goes east, we'll be hot and dry in southeast TX. We might get a small ground swell out of it for the surfers, but only if it can at least develop into a depression with sustained winds and convection. Overall, our wave chances are looking pretty nil at the moment.
IF the system should stall and begin to organize in the Gulf, I will update as often as possible with the latest forecast information.
Have a great remainder of the week and weekend! Stay cool!
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I have a passion for Mother Nature's fury, serenity, and beauty. I express my soul through my music and photography. B.S. in Meteorology from TX A&M.
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