Potential storm in the Gulf of Mexico next week

Cold front should help determine path of storm
KBTX Brazos Valley This Morning EXTENDED(Recurring)
Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 6:56 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - This time of year is never a good time to see a Hurricane out on the coast. Hot summertime conditions, climatological averages, and calm tropical upper-level winds can lead directly to a strong Hurricane forming. This season has been incredibly quiet so far, and the Gulf of Mexico has been calm.

Could be named "Hermine"
Could be named "Hermine"(KBTX Weather)

And yet, it is possible that we will see a tropical system move into the Gulf of Mexico next week. The National Hurricane Center is currently monitoring a system in the southern portions of the Caribbean, just north of Venezuela. On average, storms that form that far south in the tropics trend towards moving into the Gulf of Mexico.

The National Hurricane Center currently is expecting the storm to become a named system quickly. They have deemed the ongoing convection to have a high chance of development.

National Hurricane Center deems a high chance for development for Invest 98-L
National Hurricane Center deems a high chance for development for Invest 98-L(KBTX Weather)

Still, the storm is far away in time from making landfall. There is still a lot of uncertainty. Models currently track the storm through the gap between the Yucutan Peninsula and Cuba, spilling into the warm Gulf of Mexico. However, models lose confidence past this point. There is uncertainty as to where the storm will turn once it has made it into the Gulf of Mexico.

Still lots of uncertainty in model guidance
Still lots of uncertainty in model guidance(KBTX Weather)

The uncertainty comes from the interaction the storm will have with an incoming cold front, upper-level winds, and high pressure. A cold front will move into the Brazos Valley Sunday night into Monday morning, bringing drier air to much of the southern United States. The cold air mass and upper-level winds could push the storm to the northeastern shores of the Gulf.

Storm could move eastward
Storm could move eastward(KBTX Weather)

A high-pressure system set up over the southern U.S. and northern portions of the Gulf could also steer the potential storm. The movement of that high-pressure system, however, will determine how far the storm moves eastward by the cold front. Model paths diverge greatly from each other after the storm travels into the Gulf.

Paths diverge after movement into the Gulf of Mexico
Paths diverge after movement into the Gulf of Mexico(KBTX Weather)

As more model data comes in, there will be more certainty about the location of landfall for this potential storm. The storm has not even reached named status, but we know that there is potential for a dangerous tropical system to make landfall in the United States. It goes to show how far weather modeling has developed in the last 50 years and is a testament to the growth of meteorology as a science.