Tag Archive for: tropical outlook

So Far, 99L Headed Toward Gulf Along Same Track as Harvey

Jeff Lindner, Harris County’s meteorologist, forecasts a potential hurricane threat for the western and northwestern Gulf of Mexico early next week. And it’s following the same track as Harvey – almost four years later to the day.

Current Location of 99L in South-Central Caribbean

A tropical wave currently designated 99L and moving westward in the Caribbean off the coast of Columbia still has no center of circulation. However, global models indicate that it will continue to develop over the western Caribbean Sea either Friday or Saturday and move into the south-central Gulf of Mexico over the weekend.

Area of Investigation 99L is that large blob between the eastern tip of Cuba and the northern coast of Colombia.
99L on left should reach the southern Gulf by this weekend.

Still a Wide Range of Potential Tracks for 99L

There has been a significant shift during the last 24 hours to the right (east). The majority of the models now show 99L heading in the direction of the northwest Gulf of Mexico. However, models also show a wide range of potential tracks from northern Mexico to the Mississippi coast. 

The black line is the most likely track but uncertainty remains high.

So, a fair amount of uncertainty exists in the forecast, especially since there is such spread in the ensemble guidance. The lack of a defined surface center at the moment increases that uncertainty. 

Hurricane Harvey’s track in 2017. Note the similarity in area of origin and projected paths. Also note where Harvey intensified.

This weekend will be the fourth anniversary of Harvey. It’s eerie to note the similarities between that storm and this one.

Intensification Very Likely

Conditions over the Gulf of Mexico appear to be favorable for intensification. 

Nearly all global models see 99L turning into a hurricane. Some see it turning into an intense hurricane in the Gulf by early next week.

Lindner warns that It is too early to start discussing impacts because of the uncertainty on the track. However, he does see increasing tides and 10-15 foot waves from Sunday into Monday. Rain chances will increase starting today and remain high into the weekend. 

“Obviously,” says Lindner, “the forecast and potential impacts will have significant changes as the track become more clear in the coming days.”

Residents and interest along the TX and LA coast should review hurricane plans and make sure hurricane supplies are fully stocked. Monitor forecasts closely and frequently.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 8/25/2021 based on information from HCFCD, NOAA, NHC and Tropical Tidbits

1457 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Outlook for Tropical Disturbance: Texas Clear, But Not Florida

National Hurricane Center has issued a Special Tropical Weather Outlook this afternoon for the area of disturbed weather over the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

An area of showers and thunderstorms has become slightly better organized today. Global forecast models continue to suggest that this area will gradually develop into a tropical or sub-tropical cyclone over the eastern/northeastern Gulf of Mexico sometime between Monday and Wednesday.

A broad surface low or elongated trough is slowly forming on the eastern flank of an upper level trough located over the central Gulf of Mexico. Forecast models suggest the broad surface low will gradually intensify and drift N/NNE along the eastern flank of the upper level trough over the next 72 hours.

There remains some uncertainty on whether the system is more sub-tropical in nature (with winds and rain well away from the center) or more tropical in nature (with strongest winds and rains closer to the center). The latest European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) outlook shows more of a tropical system. ECMWF predicts a surface low of 1003-1005mb making landfall over the Florida panhandle by the middle of this week.

Regardless of development or not, heavy rainfall and squalls will be impacting much of Florida over the next several days and spreading NNW along the NE/N Gulf of Mexico coast, generally east of Mississippi by the middle of the week.

The topical disturbance likely will come inland over the Florida Panhandle later this week. It is not currently a threat to the Texas Coast.

Currently the National Hurricane Center gives this system a 30% chance of development in the next 48 hours and 40% over the next 5 days. Regardless of development or not, heavy rainfall and squalls will be impacting much of Florida over the next several days and spreading NNW along the NE/N Gulf of Mexico coast generally east of Mississippi by the middle of the week.

At this time no significant impacts from this system are expected along the upper Texas coast. Surface winds Tuesday-Thursday may shift back to the ENE/NE, allowing an even drier air mass to advect into the region from the NE. Afternoon high temperatures should rise into the low to mid 90’s. Given the likely small scale nature of any system, do not expect any increase in tides of seas over the NW Gulf of Mexico.

By Jeff Lindner, Director Hydrologic Operations Division/Meteorologist

Harris County Flood Control District

Posted 5/13/18, 4:55 p.m CDT

257 Days after Hurricane Harvey