Payton’s Tuesday Afternoon Tropical Update

It will remain very hot and humid through Wednesday with increasing rain chances. Temperatures will begin to drop as well with more clouds building in. Invest 92 is moving over the water now, but the exact track and impacts from a tropical system are still unclear, but it looks like the chance of a tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico is high. Just to be safe go ahead and review your hurricane plane. Below is a detailed explanation the difficult forecast regarding Invest 92.

TROPICS: We continue to watch a very tricky forecast unfold, which could bring tropical impacts to the Central Gulf Coast by the end of the workweek. The low/disturbance moving into the northeastern Gulf of Mexico is still expected to become a tropical depression at some point later this week. The big question still remains where does the center of circulation form? This is one of the key factors to help forecast where this low will go. Models have come into agreement on a west traveling storm, but just how far west before we see a northerly turn is the big question. The main steering currents for the potential tropical cyclone are a ridge over the Central U.S., a ridge over the Atlantic and a trough moving through the Great Lakes region. The ridge over the Central U.S. appears to be the main steering current as it is the strongest feature. If we see a stronger ridge over the Central U.S., the low will likely stay further west toward Texas, but if the trough over the Great Lakes becomes stronger it will weaken the central ridge and the storm could take more of northerly track a little sooner. The later scenario would produce greater impacts along the Central Gulf Coast region. Also something that helps determine where this thing goes is the strength. A stronger storm is more vertically stacked (Think stands up straight) and steered more by the upper level winds, where a weaker storm (Think tilted as you go up in the atmosphere) will be under the influence of the lower level steering currents…so now the question we need to answer is… how strong will this thing get? The different scenarios with all of these factors are shown quite well with the GFS (American) and ECMWF (European) Models. The GFS keeps a weaker storm with a tilted low. This would likely travel closer along the coast. The ECMWF has a stronger storm that is more vertically stacked. This storm would likely travel a little further south…BUT then the big question goes toward the trough over the Great Lakes…how much of an impact does it have on the eastern ridge over the central U.S, with this ridge being the main steering mechanism…again a stronger trough = weaker ridge = a storm that could turn north sooner. A weaker trough= a stronger ridge = a storm that could travel further west before turning north. Even with this information it’s still so difficult to see, which scenario plays out and will just have to watch model trends and development location of the low to get a better idea. Regardless where this thing makes landfall heavy rainfall appears to be the biggest concern at the moment along with minor coastal flooding from onshore flow.

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