Tropical Disturbance heading for Bay of Campeche

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HOUSTON - Satellite pictures Wednesday morning show more organized thunderstorms with a tropical disturbance centered over Belize and the Yucatan peninsula. The system was moving slowly west at about 8 mph and will emerge over the Bay of Campeche on Thursday.

Surface pressures are rather low in the disturbance and ocean temperatures are as warm as they will get in the Gulf. The slow movement tells us two things: winds aloft are light and the disturbance will be over the warm water for several days. Given the already low pressure, favorable wind environment, and increasing organization of the thunderstorms, it will not take much for the disturbance to become a depression or storm once in the Bay of Campeche.

The main feature working against a storm developing is proximity to land. If a center forms too close to the southern Campeche coast, further strengthening should be inhibited. 

Weak steering currents should persist into early next week and it might take until Monday or Tuesday before the possible storm makes landfall along the Mexican Coast.  Given the lack of an organized storm Wednesday and weak winds, too soon to pin down where on the Mexican coast landfall might occur.  Wednesday morning's models all keep the track south of Texas.

For the Houston-Galveston area, impacts from the disturbance are not likely into the weekend. Enhanced rain chances and possible tidal effects next week depend a lot on how much the disturbance develops and based on the data at hand, it is too soon to speculate.

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