Tropical Development Possible in Northern Gulf This Week

Tropical development is possible in the northern Gulf later this week in association with a stalled/decaying cold front.

The front was positioned from Texas east into North Carlina as of the 0900z surface analysis from the Weather Prediction Center. It will drop south into the north/central Gulf Coast today where it will ultimately become stationary.

An area of low pressure is likely to develop along the front by Tuesday/Wednesday near the coast somewhere between southeast Louisiana and the western Florida Panhandle.

Odds of this low trying to spin up into a tropical cyclone (TC) have increased some this morning. The 00z ECMWF and UKMET both develop a TC by Thursday or Friday. The 06z GFS develops a TC by Sunday. There is also some support for development from the ECMWF ensembles.

GFS 850mb geopotential height, cyclonic vorticity, and wind valid at 7 PM CDT Sunday from this morning’s 06z run. A low/weak TC can be seen off of southeast Louisiana. (Tropical Tidbits)

However, while there is a signal in the model guidance for development, there has been some run to run variability with the deterministic models.

In their 8 AM EDT tropical weather outlook the National Hurricane Center put the chance of development at 20 percent through the next 5 days.

Should a TC form, it is too early to speculate on possible track and intensity – especially given the above mentioned run to run variability with the model guidance. But it does look like steering currents will be fairly weak causing any system to meander around.

Regardless of development, an unsettled pattern and quite a bit of rainfall can be expected this week along the northern Gulf Coast which could result in some flooding concerns.

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Caleb Carmichael
Caleb Carmichael

Caleb is the owner of Gulf Coast Storm Center. He is currently an undergraduate student at Mississippi State University majoring in geoscience with a concentration in broadcast and operational meteorology. While not yet a meteorologist, Caleb has been providing weather updates, news, and analysis for the Gulf Coast since 2014.

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