Development threat increasing for Bay of Campeche as active pattern continues

Invest area 93L moving in to the Bay of Campeche

Invest area 93L moving in to the Bay of Campeche

It may take a few days, but it looks like we will get another tropical cyclone developing in the apparently fertile Bay of Campeche. The NHC says that invest area 93L should move in to the eastern portion of the region today and slowly develop – as long as it can remain over water.

Upper level winds look favorable and the water underneath is very warm. It looks like all the ingredients are in place for 93L to become our next tropical storm.

The forecast models are interesting to watch as they may be having an issue with 93L and the overall larger low pressure envelope or gyre that exists across the region, even extending in to the southeast Pacific. As such, it is difficult to determine when we may see something develop and this is somewhat important in terms of its future track and intensity.

Right now, it looks like we’ll have a low take shape over the next day or two with a track off to the north-northwest towards Mexico, well south of Texas.

However, the persistent onshore flow across the western Gulf of Mexico could lead to minor coastal flooding and an increase in showers and thunderstorms across the region. Heavy rain will be a serious issue for portions of eastern Mexico due to the slow motion of this system.

Elsewhere, Gabrielle is a tropical depression but has managed to develop limited deep convection again around its circulation center. It won’t be too much longer before Gabrielle is picked up by a trough and swept on across Nova Scotia as a post-tropical/extra-tropical system with rain and some wind but little more.

Out in the eastern Atlantic, Humberto remains a hurricane and is likely to be around for at least another week as it mills about the open Atlantic. This will help to drive up the seasonal ACE index which has been lagging quite a bit in recent weeks. There is still no indication that Humberto will impact land areas.

Beyond the short-range, the pattern looks to remain very active with the western Atlantic Basin, including the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, being primed for development. Global models indicate numerous systems developing over the next 10 to 15 days and this is consistent with the time of year we are in coupled with the very warm water that remains intact across most of the western Atlantic and surrounding areas. There is nothing to pinpoint just yet in the long range but indications suggest that the Gulf and/or Caribbean will foster development again before the month is out. We’ll see what happens, just something to keep in mind as we progress through September.

I will have another blog post here this evening concerning 93L in the Bay of Campeche.

M. Sudduth 8:15 am ET Sept 12


Tropics active but no impacts expected for U.S. anytime soon

Recent satellite shot of hurricane Humberto in the east Atlantic

Recent satellite shot of hurricane Humberto in the east Atlantic

The pattern remains an active one with our first hurricane of the season, Humberto, way out in the eastern Atlantic, Gabrielle near Bermuda and invest area 93L in the western Caribbean. Despite all of this, there still appears to be little chance of significant impact to the United States over the coming days.

Humberto became a hurricane overnight with top winds of 75 mph. While much has been made about how late we progressed in to the season before having a hurricane form, it’s more trivial than anything else. As my colleague Mike Watkins said on Twitter, “The atmosphere has no memory”. Indeed, it does not and does not keep records. What ever is going on to keep hurricanes at a minimum this season has nothing to do with human record keeping. However, it is interesting and made for a lot of talk on weather forums and other social media. Now that we’ve had one hurricane, when will the next one form? Perhaps more importantly, where?

We can look to the Bay of Campeche where a low pressure area is poised to take shape over the next few days as a trough of low pressure moves out of the western Caribbean and in to the extreme southern Gulf of Mexico or Bay of Campeche as it is referred to.

Computer model plots for invest area 93L

Computer model plots for invest area 93L

Computer model guidance suggests that we will see a tropical depression and eventually a tropical storm form from this system. There is a chance it could become a hurricane as it is forecast to move very slowly as we move through next week. The end result is likely to be a lot more rain in areas where Fernand and TD8 impacted in recent weeks. I do not see anything right now to suggest that the pattern will allow what ever develops to move north enough to directly affect Texas. It is not out of the question that some outer rain bands could work their way in to extreme south Texas, along with an increase in rough surf due to the prolonged period of easterly winds and the tropical cyclone that is likely to be churning up the Gulf to the south. This will be something to keep a close eye on, especially for interests in Mexico.

Elsewhere, Gabrielle is slowly pulling away from Bermuda and it would not surprise me to see the convection build back for a brief time as the shear relaxes some. The storm will transition to post-tropical status and will eventually cross the Canadian Maritimes with showers and periods of gusty winds.

We may see some increase in swell along portions of the Southeast U.S. coast as energy from Gabrielle arrives over the next few days. Check your local NWS site under marine forecasts for specific surf info and forecasts.

Beyond that, a tropical wave between Humberto and the Lesser Antilles bears watching over the next few days though no development is seen to speak of in model guidance.

The bottom line is that as we now head in to the second half of the hurricane season, things are looking really good. The forecasts of a very busy season have not come to pass and certainly the amount of impact from the tropics has been limited. I don’t want to jinx things by stating the obvious but it is remarkable to go this far in to a season that was supposed to be loaded for bear and not have any major issues. Luckily, at least for the next several days, that run of good luck will continue.

I’ll have more tomorrow unless something pops up unexpectedly later today or this evening.

M. Sudduth 8:40 am ET Sept 11