12:00PM July 8, 2019

80% CHANCE TROPICAL STORM DEVELOPMENT IN GULF… The National Hurricane Center continues to increase the forecast chance that a tropical storm will develop in the northern Gulf of Mexico later this week, pegging the odds at an 80% chance as of Noon on Monday. We note there have been some considerable model changes over the last 12 hours, with majority of the major global models indicating a westward track toward the Louisiana and Texas coast if/once development happens. If that scenario happens, impacts across south Alabama and northwest Florida would probably be limited to greater rain chances this weekend in addition to high waves and dangerous rip currents at our local beaches. Let’s look at details in this special Noon update…

FORECAST CONFIDENCE IS INCREASING: WESTWARD TRACK… The major global weather models continue to increase in confidence that a developing area of low pressure will become a tropical depression or tropical storm late this week into the upcoming weekend. Track consistency among the major models (ECMWF, GFS, etc.) has increased. Landfall of a tropical depression or tropical storm in Texas or Louisiana appears to be the most likely scenario at this point, but that is certainly NOT set in stone. I encourage everyone in east Texas, Louisiana, south Mississippi, south Alabama, and northwest Florida to keep following updates on this developing system.

POTENTIAL LOCAL IMPACTS IN ALABAMA & NW FLORIDA… Based on the latest model guidance, it is certainly reasonable to think rain chances will be elevated Friday, Saturday, and perhaps on Sunday locally due to the influence of this passing tropical storm to the south. Dangerous rip currents and high waves will be likely at all of the local beaches. There will be other impacts, like gusty winds at the coast and isolated tornadoes, but the extent of those impacts remains highly uncertain due to the fact that we can’t pinpoint the exact track of the system just yet.

NOT UNPRECEDENTED STORM MOTION/DEVELOPMENT… Many people have asked questions about just how rare it is to have a developing area of low pressure moving from the inland areas of the Southeastern U.S. over the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico. “Home grown” systems like this are not uncommon as one might think. Weakening cold fronts often stall and will spin up a tropical system close to land. Hurricane Arthur in 2014 had a similar situation in its genesis. A tropical area of low pressure developed over land before emerging over the Atlantic Ocean and developing into what would become Hurricane Arthur. That’s just one example. There have been other systems, even in the Gulf of Mexico, that have developed due to a feature moving off land and over the warm waters of the Gulf. I think the difference here is people are seeing the Graphical Tropical Weather Outlook issued by the National Hurricane Center and more people are actually aware of how a tropical storm may form.

CHANGE PLANS? PROBABLY NOT… If you have beach plans this weekend in Alabama or northwest Florida, I would not advise changing plans because of this system just yet. Again, odds continue to increase that the core of the system will pass to our south as this system moves westward.

APP ALERTS… I’ll have more details in the days ahead in our updated version (2.5) of the RedZone Weather app. redzoneweather.com/app is the link for the free download. Be sure to turn ON “Medium-Level Alerts” for the latest information about this system by visiting the Alerts tab (bottom right corner) and tapping the large, yellow “Alert Settings” button to customize which alerts you would like to receive from me.

Let me know if you have specific questions. Have a great evening!

Testing 123

Leave a Reply