Memorial Day Weekend Tropical Storm Threat Grows Central & Eastern Gulf Coast
Memorial Day Weekend Tropical Storm Threat Grows
Central & Eastern Gulf Coast
Overnight satellite loops show that the area of disturbed weather in the Northwest Caribbean continues to produce showers and thunderstorms as a broad area of low pressure sits just off the Yucatan Peninsula. Conditions are forecast to become more favorable for development Friday and this weekend as the low slowly makes its way northward into the Gulf of Mexico. In fact all weather models now have a well developed tropical storm in the Gulf heading for the Central Gulf Coast between New Orleans (European model) to the Florida Panhandle (GFS model). The point is they all seem to be tightening up now on a track and an area of maximum impact. We continue to believe that the biggest threat here will be heavy rains of 5 to 10 inches or more for the Gulf Coast states.
Judging by model speeds it would appear that weather conditions will deteriorate during Sunday across the Gulf Coast. The structure of this tropical storm and it’s broad nature may also bring heavy rains across Florida as the moisture bands arc north and northwestward. The National Hurricane Center has raised odds for development to 40 percent in the next 2 days and 80 percent in the next 5. The good news for us is that this has no impact on our weather this weekend though we do have issues for Sunday and Monday with clouds and passing showers.
A broad, stationary surface low pressure system centered over the southeastern Yucatan Peninsula is gradually becoming better defined. Although showers and thunderstorms, along with strong gusty winds, are confined primarily to the adjacent waters of the northwestern Caribbean Sea, gradual development of this system is expected during the next couple of days as it drifts northward near the Yucatan Peninsula. Environmental conditions are forecast to become more conducive for development through early next week, and a subtropical or tropical depression is likely to form by late Saturday over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. Regardless of development, locally heavy rainfall is forecast across western Cuba and over much of Florida and the northern Gulf Coast into early next week. In addition, the threat of rip currents will steadily increase along the Gulf coast from Florida westward to Louisiana over Memorial Day weekend. For more information on these threats, please see products issued by your local weather office. The next Special Tropical Weather Outlook on this system will be issued by 200 PM EDT this afternoon. * Formation chance through 48 hours...medium...40 percent. * Formation chance through 5 days...high...80 percent.