Aug 13, 2013 11:46 PM by Rob Perillo

Tropical Storm Potential in the Gulf by Friday

Computer models remain at odds on the potential of an area of disturbed weather in the Northwest Caribbean.

The National Hurricane Center indicated Tuesday evening that this feature has a medium potential for tropical cyclone development through the next several days.

Upper level winds remain hostile for development at this time but are expected to relax as a weak area of surface low pressure east of Central America travels northwestward toward the Yucatan Peninsula by Thursday.

The window of opportunity for development won't last more than a day or two but this system does have some modest tropical storm potential per latest computer models.

If the system does not develop, the weak low and attendant tropical wave will head mainly toward Mexico.

Latest models (namely the GFS and KATC's in-house RPM FutureCast) have become more bullish on development in the Southern Gulf with this system by Friday. 

The frontal trough heading southward toward the Gulf of Mexico Thursday would steer any developing system, and deep tropical moisture, toward the Florida Panhandle by Saturday.

For Acadiana, this would reinforce the drier pattern that is expected for the area and enhance northerly breezes.  At this point, this system does not pose a direct threat to Acadiana's coast.

If the approaching frontal trough is weaker than current advertised forecasts, the future path and intensity of any system in the Gulf would become more uncertain.

Offshore interests in the Gulf of Mexico however, should be prepared for the possibility of tropical storm conditions, mainly from the central into the eastern Gulf of Mexico Friday into Saturday.

Development or not, heavy rainfall will be quite possible from Alabama eastward through Florida and portions of the SE US through this weekend.

The next named system will be "Erin".


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