Tropical Cyclone Formation In The Gulf Becoming More Likely
What was once just an area of thunderstorms south of Cancun Mexico off the coast of Belize might be quite an attention getter for those that live along the Texas and Louisiana coast during this upcoming week. Forecasters have reason to believe that this area of disturbed weather has a better than average chance of spinning up into a tropical cyclone over the next five days.
Whether that system becomes a tropical depression, a tropical storm, or even a hurricane will depend on conditions in the Gulf of Mexico. Right now forecasters are suggesting that the broad area of low pressure now centered at the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula will have a 70% probability of reaching tropical cyclone status in the next 48 hours.
Hurricane Hunter aircraft are expected to fly into the system this afternoon and depending upon what they find during their mission could determine the designation of this storm system. The upper level winds over the western Gulf of Mexico are forecast to relax giving this system a better chance for strengthening that was first thought last week.
The tropical forecast models seem to be in strong agreement that the most likely place for this system to cross the United States Coastline is along the central Texas coast. The ensemble models, a collection of tropical models from around the world, is forecasting a landfall that would be in the general vicinity of Corpus Christi Texas.
Should that forecast hold true the moisture being pumped up out of the Gulf of Mexico by this system would exacerbate the rain chances for Southwest Louisiana. The counter clockwise flow would push warm moist air up over our state and that would not only enhance afternoon thunderstorms but would provide the potential for tropical downpours and flooding rains.