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Latest on the western Gulf forecast

Posted: 7:54 AM, Sep 12, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-12 08:56:35-04

There’s finally some good news in the tropics with the latest area of interest looking a little more ragged Wednesday morning and the National Hurricane Center as lowered the chance for development. While it is only slightly lower than previously (from 70-60 percent) it does go along with a trend that has been picked up on by the EURO for a few days. So let’s go through and take a look at this thing so you can have an idea what’s going on and what’s important to know.

Yucatan satellite
Wednesday morning satellite image from the Yucatan Peninsula.

It’s been a struggle to find a closed center or any significant circulation with this system the last day or so, hurricane hunters will give it a go likely Wednesday afternoon. As it stands it’s a big blob of moisture and thunderstorms that is gradually drifting to the northwest and into the western Gulf of Mexico. Conditions there would prove to be a little more favorable for development so a tropical depression is not off the table. It is encouraging though to see the NHC start to downgrade the chances a little.

Chances of development
The National Hurricane Center has lowered chances for development

It was the EURO model that first picked up on this system, it’s been the best model we’ve had all summer, and even the EURO is looking less bullish on the chance of development. There are still hints that a tropical depression is possible, although it would likely be down closer to the Texas/Mexico border. If we do end up seeing one it looks like it would be Thursday night/Friday morning and really won’t have much time to get its act together because by then it’ll be feeling the influence of the coast.

EURO Model
This is a single model image, this is not a forecast.

Regardless of development or not there will be some impacts along the extreme western Gulf Coast, most of which will be south of our area. Due to the influence of Hurricane Florence along the east coast forcing this system to the south so not expecting a last minute turn north. It’ll be wet from Houston to the Mexico border along the coast, and while we will have our own spotty showers it won’t be anything out of the ordinary. Even with a wet weekend along the Texas coast the rain totals don’t appear to be anything out of the ordinary, with hot-spots of 6″-8″ rain between Galveston and Corpus Christi.

Precip potential
Projected rain totals over five days.

Every system this time of year, in this part of the world deserves to be watched; but not every system should be obsessed over or panicked about. That’s the type of system we’ll be dealing with this week, one that we’ll keep an eye on and if the forecast calls for it we’ll update you as necessary.