Tropical trouble for dad?

NHC 5 Day Forecast Graphic
NHC 5 Day Forecast Graphic

You’ve heard the chatter, an area of disturbed weather by next Wednesday or Thursday in the Bay of Campeche causing tropical trouble for “somewhere” in the Gulf of Mexico.

First, there is nothing there yet and when there is nothing there then the models tend to be all over the place. The American and Euro have generally favored something hugging the Texas coast the end of next week with a landfall around Sabine Pass on Father’s Day weekend, but now things have changed with the American. That said, here is the latest European model:

European Model courtesy of weathermodels.com

The Euro path places a landfalling storm a week from today in southwestern Louisiana. That path keeps the majority of stormy weather off the Texas coast and brings in 5-7″ of rain to Louisiana (which does not need it!). The American model latest run from this evening shows a huge shift with that path to a landfalling storm near New Orleans on Friday before Father’s Day:

GFS this evening

Here is a still picture and that 1002 millibars of pressure indicates around a 50 mph storm with heaviest rain and highest surge to the east in Alabama and Florida.

American Model

Here’s the where-does-this-go issue -- two high-pressure systems will steer this and where those set up is too early to know. You can see below that the set up this morning favors the Euro path but the American model disagrees. The answer is that wherever the path of least resistance sets up is where any storm that develops will follow:

Any storm will take the path of least resistance

And as unclear as the answers are today, there is another interesting fly in the ointment:

SAHARAN DUST ARRIVING SOON

Look at this morning’s Saharan Dust -- especially the pink color, but you’ll notice the orange-red all the way into the Caribbean:

Saharan Dust Layer moving our way

I’ve circled where the dust is on the satellite map below and it’s pretty evident that this is a strong plume. It’s also expected to arrive in the Gulf next week, so what will that do to a developing storm? Hinder it.

I circled the dust for you

So the bottom line is that right now the development chance is at only 20% the next five days (and in this case, day five). Any storm developing will fight off dry air to get there (thus the 45 mph strength being fairly low) and where it might go is simply a coin flip at this point. But it’s good reminder that we are in hurricane season, so be ready! We’ll keep you updated on air and on line!

Frank

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About the Authors:

KPRC 2's chief meteorologist with three decades of experience forecasting Houston's weather.

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, social media news and local crime.