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Eye on the Gulf of Mexico for the potential for tropical development by late week. At this point, local impacts for Jacksonville/NE Fl./SE Ga. looks to be relatively minor as long as the forecast is on track(!):
* some uptick in rainfall & heavy rain potential with bands of showers & thunderstorms rotating northward around the east side of the low pressure.
* a slight increase in swells & onshore flow by Thu. helping to create an enhanced rip current risk at area beaches.
* everyone from the Panhandle west through Mobile, Biloxi, New Orleans to the Texas coast should stay up to date on the latest forecasts
Forecast models continue to hit on an upper level low moving southward over the Gulf Coast into the Gulf of Mexico fostering the development of low pressure near Florida initially - by midweek - then the low slowly moving west over the warm Gulf of Mexico where mid & upper level shear is pretty weak - less than 15 mph. Long range global forecast models are rather remarkably in agreement on this type of scenario but, of course, there is a wide range on intensity & exact location. The evolution of this system will be gradual. While models - in general - have trended west on a possible U.S. landfall, a "sneaky" northeast move cannot be discounted yet.
As for Jacksonville & all of Fl., it looks like the area will be the east of this development which would likely lead to even wetter conditions than we've been recently experiencing. Major impacts would be farther west as long as the system does not trend or move east in the end. Upper level high pressure over the Western U.S. + a weaker upper level high pressure cell near Florida will allow for an alleyway of sorts somewhere over the Gulf Coast for which this system would eventually turn northward. The position & strength of these upper level high pressure areas will be key in the ultimate movement of what could become "Barry".
Everyone from Fl. west along the Gulf Coast to Texas should stay up to date on this evolving situation.
Model plots for Gulf of Mexico possible development are limited for the time being because some models are not showing formation yet not to mention the disturbance is still over land dropping southward from the Tennessee Valley.
Tropical systems like to follow the path of least resistence. The chart below is the upper level flow (about 30-35,000 feet) for Friday showing a strong Bermuda high to the east of Florida & a weaker high over the Rockies. IF the tropical system develops, the strength of the high east of Florida will be key on how far west the system might track. The trend has been for a stronger high so a move more to the west once over the Gulf.
Sea surface temps. over the Gulf are plenty warm enough to support &/or help tropical development.... as highs as the upper 80s over parts of the NE & Eastern Gulf.
Rainfall forecast for this week is impressive along the Gulf Coast closest to the disturbance:
Dr. Phil Klotzbach, Colorado St. University produced the image below showing the Gulf is "sweet spot" for tropical development in July but - interestingly - no hurricane has formed over the Gulf in July going back to 1851. But - beware - there's a first time for everything.
2019 names..... "Andrea" was briefly upgraded in May. Next on the list: "Barry" (names are picked at random... repeat every 6 years... historic storms are retired (Florence & Michael last year):
Mid & upper level wind shear (enemy of tropical cyclones) analysis (CIMMS). The red lines indicate strong shear of which there is plenty across the Atlantic at the moment:
The Atlantic Basin:
Water vapor imagery (dark blue indicates dry air):
Deep oceanic heat content:
Sea surface temp. anomalies show some "cool" water remaining over the E. Atlantic but avg. to above avg. temps. for much of the rest of the Atlantic Basin.....
SE U.S. surface map:
Surface analysis centered on the tropical Atlantic:
Surface analysis of the Gulf:
In the E. Pacific.... has gone quiet for now after an active couple of weeks, but development is possible late in the week into next week.