Firsthand Weather is keeping a close eye on an area of convection in the Bay of Campeche (BOC) for tropical development over the next few days (see Fig. 1). This area of convection is expected to continue to organize over the next 24-48 hours as it moves west-northwest. The environment in the BOC is favorable for development. The environmental shear is weak (see Fig. 2), there’s decent upper-level divergence (see Fig. 3) and low-level convergence (see Fig. 4). These three variables will allow this area of convection to organize quickly as long as the area of convection can remain over water long enough.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has given this area of convection a 40% chance of tropical development over the next 48 hours and a 50% chance of tropical development over the next 5 days (see Fig. 5). A west-northwest motion over the weekend looks likely due to a ridge to the north over the Gulf States (see Fig. 6). This should allow Barry (?) to make landfall in Mexico early next week. The limited time over water should allow Barry (or the area of disturbed weather if Barry doesn’t develop) to remain relatively weak. The ridge that will force the west-northwest movement will begin to breakdown and move east as a trough moves into central parts of the U.S. by mid-week.
This will allow a northward movement of moisture from Barry (?) into Texas and Oklahoma as the trough picks it up (see Fig. 7). As the trough continues moving east into the Southeast by late-week, moisture from this system will be carried into the Southeast (see Fig. 8).
It appears all of the Gulf States have a chance to see an increase in instability and moisture mid to late next week, which will increase rain chances. Please keep in mind, this forecast is fluid. Forecasting undeveloped tropical cyclones is very difficult so changes to this forecast are likely. All interests along the coast of Mexico and Gulf Coast States need to keep a close eye on the evolution of this system.
Christopher Nunley is Meteorologist on Firsthand Weather, Lecturer in the Department of Geosciences at Mississippi State University (MSU), and a PhD Candidate (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences) at MSU. He earned his M.S. in Applied Meteorology at MSU, was an Assistant Cross Country Coach and taught at the University of North Texas, and was a Broadcast Meteorologist at KTEN-TV (just north of Dallas, Texas). Christopher’s main focus lies within teaching and inspiring prospective meteorology students, atmospheric research to further our understanding of atmospheric processes, and forecasting and analyzing extreme weather events to help save lives!