40% CHANCE OF TROPICAL STORM FORMING IN GULF BY SUNDAY… Confidence is increasing this evening that a tropical storm could form in the eastern Gulf of Mexico on Saturday into Sunday before potentially making landfall somewhere along the northern Gulf Coast near our local area. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has revised development chances higher to a 40% chance of tropical storm formation as of their 8PM Tuesday evening update. Regardless of if formal tropical development happens, we will need to adjust rain chances late Saturday, Sunday, into Monday to higher values. We’ll call it a 70% chance of rain and storms on Sunday. This system should be a good, soaking rain for many spots across our region regardless of formal development. Temperatures will also be a bit cooler on Sunday due to all of the clouds around. Let’s look at a few Tuesday evening details…
INVEST 95L: DISTURBANCE BUT NO LOW-LEVEL CIRCULATION YET… NHC is reporting that ships in the area of the tropical disturbance (branded now as INVEST 95L) are reporting tropical storm force winds in the outer bands of the system. The reason this is not a tropical storm yet is because it lacks a low-level circulation center. There is broad and weak rotation as there is an upper-level low pressure area involved with the disturbance, but to officially become a tropical storm, there has to be a low-level circulation in the atmosphere. Formal development is not expected until Friday or Saturday most likely when the system emerges over the Gulf of Mexico.
ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS FAVORABLE FOR DEVELOPMENT IN GULF… Winds high in the atmosphere at the upper-levels will likely become more favorable for the development of a tropical storm as we go into the weekend. We note that the ECMWF/Euro model, the GFS model, and the Canadian model all show the tropical disturbance continuing its current trajectory to the northwest around an area of high pressure off to the east. This makes a northern Gulf Coast landfall likely in the early part of next week. Interests in northwest Florida, south Alabama, south Mississippi, and Louisiana should closely monitor the progress of this developing system. Please check back with me for updates later this week.
TUESDAY EVENING DISCUSSION – POTENTIAL LOCAL IMPACTS… There is growing confidence that we will have quite a bit of rain as we go into Sunday and Monday as this area of low pressure moves northwest. The latest model guidance suggests the potential exists for heavy rain at times both on Sunday and on Monday. Depending on the exact track, forward speed, and strength of this system, there could be a risk of isolated tornadoes, gusty winds near the immediate coastline, and heavy rain that could lead to flash flooding. Please check back with me over the next few days as we monitor the evolving specific risks (or lack of risks!) as this tropical area of low pressure continues moving northwest. I will have plenty of updates posted in the RedZone Weather app.
TROPICAL WAVES IN THE ATLANTIC… We’re also monitoring two tropical waves in the Atlantic Ocean east of the Lesser Antilles that both have a low chance of developing into a tropical storm in the next 5 days. We will continue to monitor these areas of concern, but clearly, the disturbance approaching the Gulf of Mexico will take priority in our focus over the next few days since local impacts appear possible as we go into the early part of next week.
APP ALERTS… Many updates will be posted throughout the day in the RedZone Weather app. redzoneweather.com/app is the link for the free download. Be sure to visit the Alerts tab (bottom right corner) and tap the large, yellow “Alert Settings” button to customize the alerts you’d like to receive from me. If you like a lot of info, be sure to toggle ON Low-Level Alerts.
My next detailed video update will be posted on Wednesday by 7:15AM. Be sure to check with me over the next few days for the latest information on this evolving tropical disturbance. Have a nice Tuesday evening!