Tracking the Tropics

Aug 27, 2014 8:32 AM by Dave Baker

Tropical Disturbance in the Gulf

An area of low pressure appears to be developing in the western part of the Gulf of Mexico. Over the past week, a trough in the upper levels has been drifting westward along the northern Gulf Coast. Tropical systems are low pressure at the surface rather than the upper levels, so the risk of tropical development is low. The National Hurricane Center thinks there's a 20% chance for tropical development in this area over the next two days. The disturbance then should move over the Texas coast, and once it moves inland, there's no threat except for heavy rain.

Air Force Reconnaissance are on standby this morning and will travel into the area this afternoon if necessary.

Occasionally these upper level waves can produce tropical depressions. The Gulf of Mexico is open for business this time of year because of light upper level winds and very warm waters. The western Gulf and the Bay of Campeche are hot spots for development from June through October. Back in 2007 a disturbance became a tropical depression in this same area. Less than 24 hours later Hurricane Humberto made landfall near High Island, Texas. This is the fastest developing tropical system while closest to land. Humberto had 90mph winds at landfall, caused $50 million in damage and killed one.

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