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What to know about the Bay of Campeche

Bay of Campeche, NOAA visible satellite
Bay of Campeche, NOAA visible satellite

Now that Hurricane Sally has made a landfall, eyes are turning to the Bay of Campeche. Of all the “busy” tropics out there, this is the only area about which we’d really be concerned:

Orange X marks the spot
Orange X marks the spot

Over the next five days, through Sunday, the NHC gives this tropical disturbance, now designated INVEST 90L, a 60% chance to develop. But notice that the orange circle also indicates where it will go and it has no direction, which is to say the NHC just doesn’t know right now. We have a meandering tropical disturbance which most models eventually bring to tropical storm intensity. When those model lines in the below graph go into the light gray area that is tropical storm strength of 39 mph to 73 mph.

The Light Gray shaded area is tropical storm strength courtesy University of Milwaukee
The Light Gray shaded area is tropical storm strength courtesy University of Milwaukee

So where could 90L go?

If we get to a named storm it would take the last name on the storm list of “Wilfred." Until Hurricane Hunters fly the system and surrounding atmosphere, it’s really anyone’s guess as to where this might end up. The models below are relatively simple models and the one I’ve highlighted is of no concern (that is the CLIPER model and is just a climate and persistence model based on what similar systems on this date and location have done in the past).

Early Cycle model runs
Early Cycle model runs

The GFS American model has the system meandering through Sunday and eventually strings it out as moisture over the Gulf while the EURO sends a developed system into Mexico a week from now.

The American model string moisture out over the Gulf
The American model string moisture out over the Gulf
The Euro eventually sends 90L into Mexico around Tampico
The Euro eventually sends 90L into Mexico around Tampico

As we’ve seen with models and storms this year, early predictions are not very reliable and with a “meandering” storm we really won’t know much for a while. So continue to stay “weather aware” and let’s continue to hope for a Friday afternoon front to bring us a nice, comfortable weekend (not a huge cool down, but low humidity)! That front is still on track:

Cold Front from NOAA's Weather Prediction Center
Cold Front from NOAA's Weather Prediction Center

Prayers to our friends in Florida, Alabama and Georgia as they weather Hurricane Sally.

Frank

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