Tropical development or just a rain maker? Eyes on the Gulf of Mexico
National Hurricane Center gives it low odds but not ruling it out...
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Sunday was a rainy day from Pensacola, Florida to New Orleans, Louisiana. A disorganized area of rain, clouds, and thunderstorms slowly moving west along the Gulf Coast has the attention of forecasters at the National Hurricane Center.
According to the agency’s Sunday evening update:
As of the latest update, this area of interest is not expected to develop ahead of Tuesday. There is a 20% chance it could take on tropical characteristics before moving inland sometime mid-to-late week.
Water temperatures in the area that this broad area of low pressure is expected to pass through are between 84° and 88°, with the warmest of that situated along the Louisiana Coast to the mouth of the Sabine River. Upper-level winds are not particularly favorable for development, however, a weak, summer “cold” front is expected to move into then stall over the open waters of the North Gulf early in the week. Lighter wind and interaction near / with that boundary could help spin up a more defined counter-clockwise circulation.
As of Sunday afternoon, there are no immediate concerns for the Texas coast, but it will continue to be something worth monitoring with development chances on the southern doorstep of the state.
RAIN CHANCE GETS A BOOST
Tropical development or not, this feature will attempt to fling a scattered rain chance back into the Brazos Valley and Southeast Texas through the final days of June. The best shot at rain up front looks to arrive Sunday night into the early hours of Monday morning. This will occur as the “cold” front moves through the area. The rest of the week’s potential will be highly dependent on how close this weather maker is to the Texas coast.
0.25″ to 0.5″ could be up for grabs through Tuesday, as the initial chance for rain attempts to drop some much-needed moisture on the Brazos Valley. It may not be until later in the week with similar totals could be achieved, if this low-pressure system swirls back to the northeast ahead of the weekend. At the least, added cloud cover will help to bring temperatures out of the long stretch of triple-digit heat the area has recently been baking in.
TROPICAL ACTIVITY ELSEWHERE
The National Hurricane Center is also monitoring a tropical wave named Invest 94-L that has a likely chance of developing sometime between Monday and Wednesday.
The upper-level pattern favors keeping this system, regardless of tropical development, moving due west through the Southern Caribbean towards Central America. No impacts are expected for the Southern US coast. Forecast models do suggest that it could strengthen into a tropical storm mid-to-late in the week. The next name for the season is Bonnie. Hurricane Hunters are scheduled to fly into the system to investigate, if needed, Monday.
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