10/5 – Rob Knight’s “Tracking The Tropics” Morning Forecast
The upper level trough that has been dominating the eastern half of the country for the last several days is beginning to lift while tracking east across the Appalachian Mountains. Progressing into Tuesday, Tropical Storm Gamma should weaken as it sits right off the Yucatan Peninsula. Moisture on the northern side of the system will be spreading northward towards the local area. Still not sure how much rain will actually reach populated portions of the area but am carrying low rain chances.
Wednesday could be the first day of the week that we start to see something locally from what is currently TD Delta. It should be steadily tracking WNW out of the Caribbean and into the southern Gulf of Mexico. At this point, models indicate that will be strengthening and expanding in size. In doing so, rain could be spreading as far north of as the Gulf Coast. Locally, showers are possible with highest rain chances closer to the coast and lower farther inland. By Thursday, TD Delta is forecast to be a hurricane in the central Gulf of Mexico. As it moves into the central Gulf, steering currents are expected to weaken, causing the storm to slow down. At the same time, a weakness developing between high-pressure to the east and west should allow the storm to turn more northward toward the Gulf Coast.
Regarding the intensity, keep in mind that while the Gulf waters near the coast have responded to the recent cold fronts, there is still some very warm water farther off shore. The warm water combined with little wind shear through the short term should allow at least steady strengthening through the short term. The somewhat good news is that by the time the system reaches the northern Gulf, there is some indications that shear could be increasing. That shear combined with the cooler waters just off the coast, should limit strengthening as it approaches the coast. Currently the storm is forecast to be a category 2 as it approaches the coast.