Much of the model guidance is indicating that the Atlantic basin will wake up in terms of tropical activity beginning this weekend. Not only are multiple tropical cyclones possible over the Main Development Region and open waters of the Atlantic Ocean, but there is also the risk for impacts from a different potential tropical cyclone for the Southeast and US Gulf Coast next week.
We’re going to focus on the US tropical threat because this is the one that looks to be the most impactful, even if it doesn’t develop into a cyclone. Currently, there is a tropical wave with minimal convection located east of the Lesser Antilles. We’ll be tracking this wave as it moves over the Greater Antilles late-week, tracking over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean and Bahamas by this weekend. Once it reaches this point, the forecast becomes a lot more uncertain.
We know that there will be a tropical wave moving over this region, but the question is what kind of entity this disturbance will become. Could it remain a tropical wave, or organize into a tropical depression or storm? All are possible. The formation of a tropical cyclone seems to be somewhat in the lead in terms of guidance, especially according to the European (ECMWF) model.
The last several runs of the ECWMF model indicates that this tropical wave will become better organized and develop into a tropical depression or even a weak tropical storm around Sunday over the Bahamas. Now if you take a look at the American (GFS) model, it keeps the disturbance as a trough of low pressure (tropical wave) farther south over Cuba. Again, the forecast is uncertain, but Florida should monitor for potential tropical depression or storm conditions between Monday and Wednesday. Showers and storms will be likely and widespread, and heavy rain in some areas is almost guaranteed thanks to the high precipitable water values. Values will likely exceed 2 inches across much of the state, which is indicative of a highly moist atmosphere. Unfortunately, the weekend plans for many will likely be affected across Florida, especially on Labor Day and into mid-next week as a result of this tropical entity passing through.
Farther out in time, both models then bring the entity (tropical wave or cyclone) into the Gulf of Mexico. The amount of wind shear present will be key. The ECMWF model suggests that shear may be on the lower end of the spectrum, and therefore a somewhat conducive environment will form for a sustained tropical cyclone. We don’t know what will happen when looking this far out in time. The main takeaway is if you reside along the Gulf Coast, monitor the forecast now through next week based on the elevated threat for a tropical cyclone.
Stay with WeatherOptics for daily updates on this tropical threat, and make sure to look out for our Morning Briefing Friday morning for more news on this. Get it delivered for free right to your inbox by subscribing on today’s Morning Briefing by clicking the link below.