Today's Featured Post: Updated Long Range Outlook Will be Issued Wednesday at 4:30 PM Central Time.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Gulf of Mexico could have a hurricane on its hands soon...

That's right, folks. For the first time this year, there is mounting real concern of a hurricane or tropical cyclone striking the Gulf of mexico. At this point, the entire Gulf of Mexico (GOM) has an equal chance of getting hit, but Florida is being eyed more closely due to somewhat recent runs. But the latest GFS has a hurricane brutally striking Texas. See below for more information.
This image is of the DGEX model on the left and GFS model on the right. The DGEX is not considered one of the better models, so bear that in mind. Even so, the DGEX has a hurricane scrape up the Florida coast and probably eventually strike the Florida Panhandle/North Florida region. On the right we have the GFS model. It is farther west and possibly somewhat higher pressures (a sign of a weaker system). Luckily, we can look farther past the DGEX model and see where the GFS makes landfall.
This is for August 30 in the late evening/early morning hours. We see the GFS goes all out on Texas with a large and dangerous system striking that area. Both of these models pose a danger to life and property. All people on the Gulf coast should begin monitoring this system closely. You can follow all current and previous discussions on this storm by clicking on the link below named 'Invest 97L'.

Long Range Tropical Forecast Discussion (August 25-28)- Issued August 18

This is a Long Range Forecast Discussion, issued on August 18, for a tropical cyclone concern. The areas affected are Florida, and the Southeast portion of the East Coast.
The following images are from the GFS.
Hour 174
This is Hour 174 from the latest GFS model. You can see what appears to be a tropical cyclone just off the tip of Florida. Pressures appear to be very low and precipitation appears to be high. As it is just coming into the picture, there's not much else we can point out yet.
Hour 192
At hour 192, this system has come into the picture with a potential landfall in Southern Florida. Precipitation is absolutely nuts, and it looks like flash flooding is certainly on the table for this situation, no question about it. At this point, it would be good measure to indicate that this cyclone is likely a hurricane at this point, thus a US Landfall with damage could happen.
Hour 216
Pressures may have actually deepened while it is hitting Florida. Major cities like Orlando and Miami are certainly at risk with this may-be hurricane. Precipitation has completely enclosed the apparent center of circulation, ensuring that this system will not end up like the infamous Tropical Storm Emily, where her center of circulation was always exposed and ahead of the main convection.
Hour 240
Finally, at hour 240, the tropical system has exited Florida and made its way into the Georgia region. This certainly could be a stubborn system, as the system may be this strong even while completely on land- a tropical cyclone killer.
We will closely watch this situation as it could become life-threatening. We will brief you again this afternoon and tomorrow.

Short Range Forecast Discussion (For August 20-21)- Issued Morning August 18

Good morning everyone, we are here with a follow-up discussion from last night's potential for heavy rainfall/potential severe weather in the Plains.
A lot changed overnight. There is no longer a significant threat according to the models, but about 2 days away, we are watching the potential for a heavy rain/severe weather situation in the Lower Great Lakes.
Here's the NAM model at 7 PM CDT Saturday night.
The NAM has a low pressure system on the Tennessee/Illinois/Kentucky border. That low pressure system may lead to over an inch of rain in 6 hours in portions of Illinois. This would certainly have potential to provoke flooding. I would watch out for Illinois and Indiana in this situation.
The next model is the GEM Model, or a somewhat unreliable model from the Canadian weather center.
The GEM sides with the NAM model on this situation, but takes the low pressure system just a tad north of the NAM model. While that may not seem significant it actually brings the heavy precipitation farther north than the NAM. I have to say, for 2 days out, these two models are very close in their interpretations of what could happen.
The next model is the GFS, potentially the most reliable out of this trio of models.
The GFS lets this low pressure system fly north into North Central Illinois, where the heaviest precipitation will supposedly reside. It seems that, either way, the heaviest precipitation will hit the Illinois area. The question that the GFS brings in is how far north the dry slot of the low pressure system will be. Usually more concerning in winter storms, dry slots are slots of dry air that accompany a low pressure system.

The UKMET model has no low pressure system, no heavy precipitation. Thus, it is discounted.

In summary, there is a real chance that heavy precipitation could hit the Illinois/Indiana area this weekend. This is not set in stone, just an idea of what COULD happen.
We will brief you again tomorrow or tonight, but we will not be available from 5 pm to 8 pm.