There is a lot going on in the tropics this week which is to be expected considering the overall pattern that we are in, the lack of El Nino and the very warm look to the sea surface temps across the Atlantic Basin.
First, we have TS Franklin which has moved inland over the Yucatan peninsula during the overnight hours. Obviously is has weakened some since it is over land but the inner core is likely not being disrupted too much since it was not very well established in the first place. This means that once Franklin is over the water later today, it should start to strengthen again and do so fairly quickly.
There is some evidence of stronger upper level winds coming out of the north over the southern Gulf of Mexico but this does not look like it will impede the storm from getting stronger and I expect that Franklin will be a hurricane before landfall in Mexico later tomorrow night.
As for concerns in south Texas, no need to worry. A solid wall of air, almost literally, is between Franklin and the Gulf Coast of the U.S. which means that the storm will not be able to move north very much at all. In fact, it should track close to the 20N latitude line until landfall in Mexico. We may see an increase in rip currents and swells along the Texas coast but that should be the extent of any impacts.
Next we have invest area 99L meandering out in the open Atlantic. Remember, this is the system that the GFS had developing in to a strong hurricane and heading towards the Southeast U.S. next week. Then, the GFS “dropped” that idea completely. All along, the ECMWF or Euro model was very unenthusiastic about development – until now.
As of the last couple of days, it seems that the Euro and its ensemble members (different runs of the operational model with slightly different variables input to give different output) are trying to finally develop 99L as it moves westward well north of the Lesser Antilles. In fact, if we look at the satellite shot of 99L this morning, there has been a noticeable increase in thunderstorm activity, more concentrated too and not as spread out as we saw earlier in its life cycle. Is this a sign that 99L is about to start towards a development trend? It is possible. Water temps are warm and getting warmer along its path and it won’t be long before upper level winds become more favorable, probably near the weekend, and allow for more organization of the disturbance. It’s something we should keep an eye on but nothing to worry about just yet.
I go over all of this and more in my video discussion posted below:
M. Sudduth 10:45 AM ET August 8