Tropics Time

August 15, 2009

Alright, the nap is in the books, I’m refreshed, and ready to talk tropics. We still have three systems, and I’ll go in order of closest to home to farthest away.

#1 Disturbance one is located in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico and looks a bit more lively today. For a view of all three areas on the water vapor loop, go to That’s on the National Hurricane Center’s website, and is a great resource for everything tropical.  This system is designated as a “low probability of development region”.  That means the NHC thinks there is less than a 30% for development.  I’d put chances around 10-20%.  The area is in a marginally favorable region for development in between two upper level lows.  There’s plenty of moisture in place, and the wind shear will be pretty light for the next 48 hours along the track of this system.  It’s a watcher due to the fact that water temperatures in the Gulf are near 90 degrees in many locations!  Regardless of development this system will bump our rain chances up Sunday night through Tuesday. 

#2  Tropical Storm Ana is our second area of concern.  Ana started to look like she was growing up in a hurry yesterday.  This morning Ana was designated the first Tropical Storm in the Atlantic basin this year due to concentrated thunderstorms forming near the center.  Since then, wind shear has taken a bit of a toll on Ana.  I think Ana will ultimately struggle for the next 48 hours, but if she sticks around until Monday morning with any degree of organization there could be some steady intensification.  The NHC (National Hurricane Center) bulks ana up to a 70 mph storm near southern Florida by Thursday morning.  It’s a tough intensity forecast, but if Ana manages to stay together, this could end up being a player somewhere in the Gulf late next week, or weekend.  It originally looked like this storm would go out to sea, but the fact that it stayed weak allowed it to continue westward amid the low level steering currents.  It didn’t get deep enough to be tugged north by any weaknesses in the ridge of high pressure.  Keep up to date on Ana especially around midweek of next week.  That should be when (if ever) it becomes apparent who may get a visit from Ana.

#3  Tropical Depression #3 is gathering strength just several hundred miles east southeast of Ana.  T.D #3 could very well end up being the most impressive of the three areas.  NHC forecasts a 105 mph hurricane just east of Puerto Rico Thursday morning.  T.D #3 is in a decent area for development, though is dealing with some dry air like Ana.  If these storms can overcome the dry air, then watch out!  We could end up with the ugly scenario of having two hurricanes hitting a fairly close geographical region in a 3-4 day window.  This storm also is a potential gulf threat, but it’s way too early to get too cute with that type of thing.  I do think this storm is well on its way to becoming a hurricane in the next 3 days, and will be a big threat for someone either in the Caribbean or potentially the southeast U.S.  Lets wait until Monday before we get to far into eventual Louisiana impacts and stuff like that.  There are still models that want to bring this storm toward the Bahamas and then yank it out to sea.  That would certainly be a welcome event for the mainland, and the Bahamas if the system turned soon enough.  That solution looks a bit suspect at this point, and I’m starting to think that someone along the U.S coast will be boarding up in 4-6 days, and then potentially another area in the 7-9 day time frame.  It’s really ramping up, and I’ll be stuck on it like glue!  If something looks like a threat to the northern Gulf Coast I’ll start to crank out more frequent updates.  If I see anything with our southeast Gulf of Mexico blob, I’ll post an update later.  Enjoy the rest of the weekend!


I’ll post a full forecast tomorrow, but it does look like 50-60% rain coverage for Monday and Tuesday.


One Response to “Tropics Time”

  1. Linda Bailey said

    I’ll take the rain, but don’t want the wind. With things as dry as they are, a little wind will snap limbs and trees around here like toothpicks.

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