Tropical threat coming to Gulf ?

Keeping an eye on the system I mentioned Monday morning

Long time followers know I do not post long-range models of scary storms (winter or tropical) for eye-candy clickbait and you should not post or share such things either. I don’t play that game, I’d rather respect your intelligence.

It’s poor practice especially for those who are not trained in understanding the models. But even mets should not post such doom images without an explanation. I’ll only post specific model pics when the forecast confidence is high enough to justify it, and at 5 days away or more it rarely is so.

A key rule of mine is that it’s a waste of time to post track maps unless or until there is first an actual low pressure center that has formed, because that is the very least amount of data man and models need to estimate future path or intensity in a meaningful way beyond speculation.

If you missed reading the Monday BLOG I posted about the active tropics-- thanks in part to the favorable MJO (Madden Julian Oscillation) phases we were going into:

Hurricane Grace moved through this region between the 19th and 21st and had a cooling effect on the sea-surface temperatures thanks to the churning (upwelling):

Despite some cooling after Grace the sea-surface temps and ocean heat content in the Caribbean and Gulf are still warm enough to support tropical storm and hurricane formation and intensification:

For tropical cyclone genesis and maintenance minimal threshold values for sea-surface temperature is 26C or 79ºF (28C/82F or above is better) while OHC minimal value threshold is 50-60 KJ/cm2 (while values greater than 100 are better). These are easily met in current observations for the region of concern. So a notable system could eventually threaten somewhere on the Gulf Coast.

In addition to favorable water temps conditions in the atmosphere are also supportive of formation and intensification.

Where development of a low pressure center occurs is important, a further North formation will be a bigger threat to the Gulf coast with higher intensity risk, while a farther South low formation would lessen intensity risks and lower the threat to the Gulf while increasing it for Mexico or Central America.

Also, there is outflow from an East Pacific system (14-E) which could interfere with the system on the Gulf/Caribbean side:

This is yet another reason to “hold your horses” or “cool your jets” in declaring the end of times are likely on the Gulf Coast. Hurricane hunter aircraft reconnaissance mission tomorrow will tell us a lot more.

But if you or loved ones have interests from AL Westward it is not too soon to start preparing at a low level and thinking ahead in case it comes by early next week.

I like to avoid idle speculation for attention seeking, both unethical and unnecessary.

For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.


Kirk Mellish

Kirk Mellish

Meteorologist

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