Tracking the Tropics

Sep 1, 2011 11:51 AM by Dave Baker

Recon Heading to the Gulf Today

Hurricane Hunter aircraft will investigate the tropical disturbance that is currently located in the southern Gulf of Mexico. This tropical wave may have the potential of becoming a tropical depression or tropical storm today or tomorrow. The National Hurricane Center puts a 70% chance of that happening.

Computer models have come more into agreement over the last 24 hours indicating that a tropical system will develop over the central Gulf. Most models track the system toward the northern Gulf Coast this weekend, focusing more and more on Louisiana. Beyond Sunday, some models stall the system offshore, which could bring a heavy rain and/or flood event for much of Louisiana through Wednesday.

Most forecasts show a tropical storm, a few intensify the low into a hurricane before Saturday. Once the recon data is received, not only will we know what we're dealing with, but those numbers will be thrown into the computers too, so the model data should be more accurate. Hopefully this will give forecasters a more definite answer when it comes to the Labor Day weekend forecast.

As of now, only coastal flood watches are going up for tonight and tomorrow. If the recon aircraft finds a closed circulation and the system is upgraded to a depression or storm, other advisories such as Tropical Storm Watches or Warnings may be posted.

There is another disturbance near Bermuda today which also might become a tropical depression. Which ever system reaches tropical storm strength first, gets the next name on the list which is LEE. Could we possibly be dealing with a MARIA instead?

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