Tropical Storm Laura Organizing Again Heads Into Gulf of Mexico Today
ABOUT 125 MI…200 KM ESE OF CAYO LARGO
ABOUT 205 MI…330 KM ESE OF THE ISLE OF YOUTH
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…65 MPH…100 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…WNW OR 290 DEGREES AT 21 MPH…33 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1000 MB…29.53 INCHES
While Tropical Storm Marco is getting sheared apart in the North Central Gulf of Mexico, Tropical Storm Laura continues to over perform especially after dealing with Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. The center of Laura is just off the south coast of Cuba and will be moving into the Gulf of Mexico later today. Laura will be moving into an environment favorable for intensification with water temperatures in the mid to upper 80s and unlike where Marco is, the Eastern Gulf of Mexico is free of wind shear issues.
GULF OF MEXICO SATELLITE
The upper trough in the Western Gulf of Mexico that has ripped Marco apart will be retrograding westward into Texas so the strong wind shear is going to disappear over the next 2 days. Laura meanwhile will be under light upper air wind conditions and minimal to no shearing issues once near the Gulf of Mexico.
The rust colored area is where the wind shear is and as it moves westward Laura travels with an upper high over it. This will allow the system to organize and it may do so rather quickly once in the Gulf of Mexico.
Tropical Storm Warnings are up for the Florida keys and new watches will likely go up for parts of the Central Gulf Coast later today. Most models suggest a land fall somewhere near the Texas Louisiana border sometime Wednesday evening or Wednesday night.
There is still a wide spread in the hurricane model tracks with the compromise National Hurricane Center forecast track right in the middle. The European is more along the southwest end of this envelope showing a category 3 hurricane moving into Houston while the GFS is just as intense and very close to the the Hurricane Center’s track. Given that Laura has maintained such a solid structure while dealing with the mountains of the islands, i think there is a fair chance that Laura will become a major hurricane. It is also crossing the Gulf of Mexico on a diagonal which means it is taking the longest route possible over very warm water over 86 degrees. This is supportive of a major hurricane should the upper air conditions remain favorable for strengthening.
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