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The Tropics Are Becoming More Active

A future tropical storm is beginning to appear on the horizon.

Computer models are keying in on a tropical disturbance that could be forming in the Gulf of Mexico over the next four or five days.

00z ECMWF computer model takes the Caribbean mess, develops it and stalls it in the Central Gulf of Mexico for quite a few days. While it meanders, the storm strengthens from 1004mbs to 986mbs or so as it makes landfall on the Panhandle of Florida with winds greater than 86 mph by next Thursday... in other words a hurricane. This is still in the very early stages of modeling, so things can change a lot between now and then. The GFS isn't as enthusiastic as the Euro so we need a few more days of data gathering before the future becomes clearer. But the models have been toying with this idea for several days now and they appear to be gaining some consistency in their forecast.

This is from the National Hurricane Center this morning:

A BROAD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE OVER THE SOUTH-CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO IS PRODUCING A LARGE AREA OF CLOUDINESS... SHOWERS...AND THUNDERSTORMS THAT EXTENDS FROM THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA NORTHWARD INTO THE SOUTHEASTERN GULF OF MEXICO AND FLORIDA. STRONG UPPER-LEVEL WINDS OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO ARE EXPECTED TO DIMINISH IN A DAY OR SO...AND SOME GRADUAL DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SYSTEM IS POSSIBLE AS THE DISTURBANCE MOVES SLOWLY NORTHWARD TOWARD THE CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO. THIS SYSTEM HAS A MEDIUM CHANCE...30 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. REGARDLESS OF DEVELOPMENT...HEAVY RAINS AND LOCALIZED FLOODING ARE POSSIBLE ACROSS THE YUCATAN PENINSULA...WESTERN CUBA...AND SOUTHERN FLORIDA THROUGH SATURDAY.

Right now the steering currents are weak so whatever direction the system takes, it won't be quickly. Heavy rains will be the main threat right now. 

You can stay on top of the tropical weather by using these two pages.

On the right-hand side of both pages are links to other tropical weather maps, charts, and forecast. Please take a minute to explore all the information we have available.

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This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Kristi Reed (Editor) June 21, 2012 at 02:41 PM
I could use a little of that in my backyard ...
North Georgia Weather June 21, 2012 at 03:25 PM
The developing low still remains highly sheared as it exits the Yucatan Peninsula . While the convection has increased along the trough axis extending east, the lack of development on the western semi circle raises an eyebrow. There are multiple upper lows across the Western Basin, one is nearing the Bahamas, a second upper level low is near Pensacola and a third is near the South Texas Coast. Further west is another one near the Baja of Mexico. This will likely be a very slow developing system, IMO and that lack of full organization may leave a westward drift beneath the building Central US Ridge. If we see a fully vertically stacked scenario, a NE motion due to the incoming EC trough would appear likely. Time will tell.
North Georgia Weather June 21, 2012 at 04:32 PM
I have a page the has large images and image loops of the Gulf of Mexico. The images and loops are also available for Infrared and Water Vapor as well as the visible loops and images. http://www.daculaweather.com/4_sat_gom_us.php
North Georgia Weather June 22, 2012 at 11:23 AM
A large area convection, now known as Invest96L, exploded near the Yucatan peninsula yesterday. A developing upper air anti-cyclone helped to ventilate the air out and away from the center of convection and contributed to the intensity of the storms. There is moderate shear (http://www.daculaweather.com/4_shear_forecast.php) forecast today but it will weaken over the next day or two, potentially allowing the system to strengthen as it moves north toward the central Gulf. This from the NHC this morning: THE CIRCULATION IS BECOMING BETTER DEFINED AND SURFACE PRESSURES ARE FALLING ACROSS THE AREA. ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO BECOME CONDUCIVE FOR A TROPICAL DEPRESSION TO FORM DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO. THIS SYSTEM HAS A HIGH CHANCE...70 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. INTERESTS ALONG THE ENTIRE UNITED STATES GULF COAST SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF THIS DISTURBANCE THROUGH THE WEEKEND. HEAVY RAINS AND LOCALIZED FLOODING ARE POSSIBLE ACROSS THE YUCATAN PENINSULA...WESTERN CUBA...AND SOUTHERN FLORIDA THROUGH SATURDAY. AN AIR FORCE RESERVE RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT IS SCHEDULED TO INVESTIGATE THE SYSTEM THIS AFTERNOON...IF NECESSARY. A hurricane hunter aircraft will be sent tomorrow http://www.daculaweather.com/4_tropical_recon_tomorrow.php
North Georgia Weather June 22, 2012 at 12:33 PM
For whatever reason, I couldn't upload this image. Notice how the models are clueless right now. http://www.daculaweather.com/images/2012_06/invest96l.png
North Georgia Weather June 23, 2012 at 01:45 AM
SUBJ/TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION ALERT// WTNT21 KNGU 221600 RMKS/ 1. FORMATION OF A SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL CYCLONE IS POSSIBLE WITHIN 100 NM EITHER SIDE OF A LINE FROM 22.6N 88.3W TO 26.0N 88.3W WITHIN THE NEXT 12 TO 24 HOURS. AVAILABLE DATA DOES NOT JUSTIFY ISSUANCE OF NUMBERED TROPICAL CYCLONE WARNINGS AT THIS TIME. WINDS IN THE AREA ARE ESTIMATED TO BE 20 TO 25 KNOTS. METSAT IMAGERY AT 221545Z INDICATES THAT A CIRCULATION CENTER IS LOCATED NEAR 22.5N 88.3W. THE SYSTEM IS MOVING NORTHWARD AT 02 KNOTS. 2. REMARKS:CURRENT MODEL GUIDANCE IS DEPICTING INTENSIFICATION OF A TROPICAL WAVE OVER THE YUCATAN PENINSULA. AT 221544Z, INFRARED SATELLITE IMAGERY INDICATED A BROAD AREA OF SHOWERS/THUNDERSTORMS THAT HAS PERSISTED FOR OVER 12 HOURS. FAVORABLE SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES OF 83 TO 85 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT IN CONJUNCTION WITH WEAK VERTICAL SHEAR MAY ENHANCE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SYTEM INTO A TROPICAL CYCLONE OVER THE NEXT 24 HOURS.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew June 23, 2012 at 02:31 AM
With regard to this matter, the computer models and I are one.... Hat tip to the Weather Wizard and his willingness to educate us.
Floyd Akridge June 23, 2012 at 03:37 AM
http://www.myfoxhurricane.com/ is a good sight too. Curious to see what this one does...spagetti models are all over the place.
North Georgia Weather June 23, 2012 at 11:00 AM
The Euro model wants to take it west toward Texas, the GFS toward the east. The system is so large that any weakness in the ridging will steer the system that direction. It's drifting VERY slowly north right now at about 2 mph. Most of the convection is to the south and east of the center and will probably remain that way through today due to a 20-30 kt vertical wind shear over the western half of the storm.
North Georgia Weather June 23, 2012 at 11:09 AM
This map will give you an idea of the broad area of low level cyclonic flow that covers the entire Gulf. http://www.daculaweather.com/4_spc_meso_analysis.php By default, this map depicts surface level winds. But if you click on "Basic UA" which stands for "Upper Air", and then click on 300 mb analysis, you'll notice that just about at the MS/AL border, the upper level winds split, they turn to the west and east. So depending on how far north the surface low moves and exactly where the center is located, that split will determine the eventual track of the system.
North Georgia Weather June 23, 2012 at 11:23 AM
Here's the current surface analysis of the Gulf : http://www.daculaweather.com/4_tropical_surface_analysis.php These maps will give you an idea of the gulf water temperatures: http://www.daculaweather.com/4_sea_temp.php These are some of the highest quality satellite images and loops anywhere for the Gulf: http://www.daculaweather.com/4_sat_gom_us.php You can see from this map that there is a decreasing tendency for shear over the western part of the system, this should help in developing a stronger circulation center: http://www.daculaweather.com/4_shear_forecast.php This last one depicts the wave heights in the ocean and Gulf, as you can see from several of these images, it's going to be a rough day for boating, especially in the NE Gulf and the beaches in that area, including Panama City Beach. http://www.daculaweather.com/4_tropical_graphical.php
North Georgia Weather June 23, 2012 at 11:34 AM
I'm also running a new GRLevel 3 product that supports the new Dual Pol radar data and I currently have a loop going for Key West (their site has been updated to Dual Pol). You might see some TV stations calling this HD. http://www.daculaweather.com/grlevel4/4_any_br248.php Dual Pol (Dual Polarization) is explained here: http://earthsky.org/earth/nws-upgrades-to-dual-polarization-radar-for-better-look-at-precipitation-tornadoes
North Georgia Weather June 23, 2012 at 11:42 AM
Early morning view of the clouds shows the western half of the Gulf mostly could free, the eastern half including Florida, is socked in. http://www.daculaweather.com/4_sat_gom_us.php
North Georgia Weather June 23, 2012 at 11:56 AM
http://www.daculaweather.com/4_tropical_outlook.php TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL 800 AM EDT SAT JUN 23 2012 FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO... THE CENTER OF CIRCULATION OF THE BROAD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO APPEARS TO BE BECOMING BETTER DEFINED ABOUT 275 MILES SOUTH-SOUTHEAST OF THE MOUTH OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER. IN ADDITION...SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS HAVE BEEN INCREASING OVER THE EASTERN GULF OF MEXICO...AND A NOAA BUOY LOCATED ABOUT 130 MILES EAST-NORTHEAST OF THE CENTER HAS PRODUCED TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS WITHIN THE PAST COUPLE OF HOURS. A TROPICAL DEPRESSION...OR MORE LIKELY A TROPICAL STORM...COULD FORM LATER TODAY OR TONIGHT IF THE DEVELOPMENT TREND CONTINUES. THIS SYSTEM HAS A HIGH CHANCE... 90 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE AS IT MOVES SLOWLY NORTHWARD DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.
North Georgia Weather June 23, 2012 at 11:57 AM
Gulf Buoy data and map here http://www.daculaweather.com/4_buoy_gom.php
North Georgia Weather June 23, 2012 at 12:20 PM
Here's the buoy that's closest to the center: http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=42003 You can also find these buoy's in my RSS feeds on my main page to the lower right and also on this page: http://www.daculaweather.com/4_rssfeeds.php
North Georgia Weather June 23, 2012 at 11:08 PM
Now Tropical Storm Debby. And while the NHC has gone with a Euro blend for it's track forecast, as you can see from this image, as far as the models are concerned, it's a toss up. http://www.daculaweather.com/images/2012_06/al042012.png
North Georgia Weather June 24, 2012 at 10:28 AM
THE OFFICIAL INTENSITY FORECAST IS A LITTLE HIGHER THAN THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY...AND BRINGS DEBBY TO HURRICANE STRENGTH BY 72 HOURS. http://www.daculaweather.com/4_debby_disco.php
North Georgia Weather June 24, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Well, well, well. Go racing for a day and look what happens. Winds are now up to 60 mph and she has moved further north than anticipated. Debby will wobble around it's present location before turning NW... at least that's the NHC forecast. Other meteorologist seem to think it will take more of a left across the Florida panhandle, southern Georgia, and South Carolina before exiting into the Atlantic. The link below shows the NHC forecast track, and the new computer model plots and forecast tracks, as well as the NHC discussion of Debby. They're having a very difficult time figuring out what direction Debby will eventually go. http://www.daculaweather.com/4_debby_disco.php
North Georgia Weather June 24, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Ok, ok. A new plan. The NHC has changed their forecast path. http://www.daculaweather.com/4_debby_disco.php Due north right now. Please oh please send it this way.
North Georgia Weather June 25, 2012 at 08:12 PM
OK, ok. A new plan. Again. It appears the GFS was correct all along, at least as far as the path of Debby. But again, she's not really moving so all bets are off from anyone. The NHC has really had a difficult time with this one.
Kristi Reed (Editor) June 25, 2012 at 08:24 PM
All I know is that we could use some rain. My desk top weather station indicates rain is coming, but I can't find any other source that gives more than a 20 percent chance this evening which isn't too great of a chance.
Floyd Akridge June 25, 2012 at 08:59 PM
that dry air it picked up yesterday really tore it apart...the hard news about this storm is the florida panhandle...if this thing is going to move very little through friday...they are going to get it. BUT...I must take complete credit for this storm...it's my doing completely. You see I love space and spaceflight. You can actually see the international space station fly over at times depending on how the sun angle is. We were to have flyovers Sunday night and Wednesday night that were nearly directly overhead....so what happens? a tropical system that throws just enough moisture up here to create nearly overcast skies...it's like this ALL the time...i have no luck...in 2010, there was a complete lunar eclipse on my birthday...what happens? I see a total of 3 minutes of it due to clouds. Maybe I should plan for some fake space event and see if I can get us some rain. Haven't tried that.
North Georgia Weather June 26, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Insane rainfall amounts. Radar estimates: Sopchoppy estimate is 28", Crawfordville estimate is 22" Click here for radar rainfall estimates http://www.daculaweather.com/images/2012_06/tlh_rainfall_2.png Sopchoppy River. Look at max flow records http://waterdata.usgs.gov/fl/nwis/uv/?site_no=02327100&PARAmeter_cd=00065,00060 http://www.nwfwmd.state.fl.us/isb/hydro/rainfall.html

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