Thursday, August 15, 2013

Nice Days Ahead...Keeping An Eye on the Gulf

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

Not a bad day at all for the middle of August!  And Friday may be just a little bit better, with a little more sunshine and an additional drop (albeit slight) in the afternoon humidity.  Too much of this nice weather could spoil us for the summer ... but not to worry, as traditional summer weather will return soon enough.

Uncertainty in our local forecast for the coming days centers on the disturbed tropical weather currently over the Yucatan Peninsula.  The poorly defined tropical wave -- still tagged as ‘92L’ -- has yet to show signs of organization today and has no clear-cut center of low pressure.  In addition, the time it spends over land today and tonight will do little to help us figure out just what it is going to do or when it will finally move back over water.

Add flip-flopping models to the confusion and you can see how we have little forecast confidence in terms of direction or intensity.  In fact, some of the guidance suggests that 92L will barely survive the time over land and will all but break-up before making it back over water.

If 92L survives the overland trip, “where” it emerges from the Yucatan may be just about as important as “when.”  Movement to the northwest today would bring it out into the “open” southern Gulf; a continued westerly path would mean hitting the Bay of Campeche.  A path into the Bay would strongly support a more western track down the road, at least in the shorter term.

However, if 92L heads along a more northwesterly or northerly track today and tonight and enters the open Gulf, then the threat for a central Gulf Coast arrival over the weekend becomes a real possibility.

Hence our local weekend forecast dilemma. 

In either case, Saturday should be another fairly comfortable mid-August day for most of us.  By Sunday, we’ll start returning to something a little more typical for August in the Pelican State.  But if 92L decides to head to the Gulf Coast, it could arrive over the weekend, prompting a series of forecasting adjustments.

Stay with us over the coming days as we try and get a handle on this confounding tropical mess!

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