Find Out If You’ll Be Able To See This Year’s Total Solar Eclipse

On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will occur from coast to coast across the United States. This will be the first time since the county was founded that a total solar eclipse will only be visible from the United States, and it will be ninety-nine years since a total solar eclipse has swept across the entire country from coast to coast. This will be a sight to behold, and it is something that has garnered much excitement over the last several months.

I have made maps for those states in which a total solar eclipse will occur over a large geographic area. This means that the moon will fully block the sun for a certain amount of time. Keep in mind that the entire United States will get to experience at least a partial solar eclipse, where the moon will partially block the sun. So even if you don’t make it to one of the locations included in the maps below, you’ll still be able to at least experience a partial solar eclipse.

Below is a map from a neat website that depicts the maximum percentage of the sun that will be obscured during this event.

Great Eclipse Map

Source: Michael Zeiler, GreatAmericanEclipse.com

The maps that I made for each state includes the path of totality (where you’ll be able to see a total solar eclipse) and a central line with times. The times, which are in two minute increments, indicate when maximum totality will occur. Depending on your location, this total solar eclipse will occur from just over one minute to barely over two minutes and forty seconds. Firsthand Weather will eventually be releasing time duration maps, too. Take special note of the time zones that I used for each state, indicated under the title. For example, central time was used for Tennessee, even though eastern Tennessee is on eastern time.

If you’re wanting to observe this event as it’s unfolding, plan to be outside for several hours. Not only will those in the path of totality get to watch a total solar eclipse unfold but will also get to watch a partial solar eclipse before and after totality is reached. Firsthand Weather will be providing regional weather forecasts for this event later in the summer!

The maps below begin at the West Coast and end at the East Coast. If you’re closer to the East Coast, scroll down towards the bottom!

Oregon Solar Eclipse Map

Source: Matthew Holliday, FirsthandWeather.com

Idaho Solar Eclipse Map

Source: Matthew Holliday, FirsthandWeather.com

Wyoming Solar Eclipse Map

Source: Matthew Holliday, FirsthandWeather.com

Nebraska Solar Eclipse Map

Source: Matthew Holliday, FirsthandWeather.com

Kansas Solar Eclipse Map

Source: Matthew Holliday, FirsthandWeather.com

Missouri Solar Eclipse Map

Source: Matthew Holliday, FirsthandWeather.com

Illinois Solar Eclipse Map

Source: Matthew Holliday, FirsthandWeather.com

Kentucky Solar Eclipse Map

Source: Matthew Holliday, FirsthandWeather.com

Tennessee Solar Eclipse Map

Source: Matthew Holliday, FirsthandWeather.com

Georgia Solar Eclipse Map

Source: Matthew Holliday, FirsthandWeather.com

North Carolina Solar Eclipse Map

Source: Matthew Holliday, FirsthandWeather.com

South Carolina Solar Eclipse Map

Source: Matthew Holliday, FirsthandWeather.com

African Easterly Wave

It is still early in the tropical season, but it has been relatively active thus far in the Atlantic Basin. Firsthand Weather is monitoring a robust African easterly wave over sub-Saharan Africa that will move into the eastern Atlantic later this week (around June 28th).

Water Vapor Imagery Of Wave

While not impossible to see development, it is still early in the season to look east towards Africa. (This region heats up from late July through September as African easterly waves have a more favorable shot at development due to atmospheric parameters.) As the current wave we are monitoring moves into the Atlantic, it is possible it will undergo an increase in convection, but the chances for tropical cyclone development are low. Environmental shear values are moderate and the system will encounter dry air, but we will continue to monitor the evolution.

GFS Surface Pressure & 10m Wind Map (Thursday Night)

European 850hPa Wind & MSLP Centers Map (Friday Morning

This wave we are monitoring serves as a good segue to dive into African easterly waves.

What are African easterly waves? Why are they important?
African easterly waves are areas of energy with an associated spin that form due to airmass contrasts (temperature and moisture) across northern Africa. Using a pyramid as an analogy, the wave acts as the bottom piece of the pyramid and can serve as the foundation for tropical cyclone development. This tropical cyclone development can occur as the wave moves off of the coast of Africa, if the wave maintains its strength, and atmospheric conditions (low shear and moist conditions) and SST are favorable (warm). These tropical cyclones can then move east-northeast and impact the Caribbean Islands and the continental United States.

Firsthand Weather will keep a close eye on the tropics over the coming months!

Tropical Storm Cindy

Tropical Storm Cindy Information

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has officially classified the low in the Gulf of Mexico as a Tropical Storm Cindy. This system has sustained winds of 45mph and is stationary–a continued northwest movement is expected overnight. Tropical Storm Warnings are in place for the entire coast of Louisiana and parts of the upper-Texas coast, which includes Houston, Texas. The areas in the Warning vicinity will see very heavy rainfall, dangerous sea conditions, gusty winds, and a storm surge threat where the tropical storm moves inland (more on the impacts below).

Projected path of the center of Cindy

What are the main threats and who will be impacted?

Large impacts are and will continue to be felt from the Florida Panhandle to the upper-Texas coast through much of the week. The biggest threat with Tropical Storm Cindy is heavy rainfall in these areas. The center of Cindy will likely intersect land in Texas, but due to environmental wind shear, the system is lopsided. Thus, much of the precipitation is well east of the center of Cindy. Coastal areas will see 8-14″ with locally much higher amounts (potentially isolated 14-24″ near the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts). Areas further inland across the Gulf states (parts of Florida, parts of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, southern Arkansas, and eastern Texas) will see heavy rainfall, too. The flooding threat will be enhanced for the inland areas of eastern Texas, Louisiana, and southern Arkansas Thursday into Friday as Cindy, then the remnants, move northward. The metro areas of Houston (especially the eastern side) and New Orleans will have an enhanced flash flooding threat due to the impervious surfaces throughout the metro. Dangerous and catastrophic flooding could be observed due to rainfall in coastal areas.

It should be noted, this system will stream deep moisture into parts of Georgia and South Carolina thus enhanced rainfall rates along a stalled boundary. Also, heavy rain may impact Tennessee and parts of the Southeast later in the week into the weekend as the remnants of Cindy move eastward.
Potential rainfall accumulations map through this week (NCEP)

Cindy landfall, and tornado and wind threat

The cyclonic flow around the low will also allow for sea water to ‘pileup’ causing flooding for areas just above sea-level for Louisiana and Texas through Thursday morning. The storm surge will be around 1-3 feet where Cindy intersects land, which is likely between Galveston, Texas and Port Arthur, Texas. This land intersection should be late Thursday morning. The latest NAM is showing a land intersection close to the Texas-Louisiana line, but this should occur about 25-50 miles west of this state lines per the NHC.

3km NAM predicted radar (shows Cindy landfall Thursday morning in Texas)

Right now, it appears Cindy will impact land as a moderate to strong tropical storm. Secondary threats are gusty winds between 30-60mph along the upper-Texas coast and western Louisiana coast and an isolated tornado threat for much of Louisiana and Mississippi.

Wind speed probability Map

Tornado potential tonight (greatest threat area outlined in pink)

Tornado potential Wednesday (greatest threat area outlined in pink)

Tornado potential Thursday (greatest threat area outlined in pink)

Please do not disregard the flood threat along the coastal regions of the Gulf, and do not cross roads that are covered in water. Updates will be provided throughout the week.

BREAKING: NHC Classifies System as Potential Tropical Cyclone

Potential Tropical Cyclone

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has officially classified the low in the southern Gulf of Mexico as a Potential Tropical Cyclone. This system has sustained winds of 40mph and is moving towards the north at 9mph. Tropical Storm Warnings have been issued for parts of the Louisiana coast and Tropical Storm Watches have been issued for parts of the Louisiana coast and upper-Texas coast as the system is expected to continue a north to northwesterly motion towards the Louisiana/Texas coastline.

So what is a potential tropical cyclone?
This is a new classification the NHC uses to provide more detailed guidance on systems that are not yet tropical depression or tropical storm strength, but have a high chance of becoming a tropical storm or hurricane within the next 48 hours and impact land. This new classification system allows for National Weather Service offices to issue Tropical Storm Watches/Warnings in advance.

Projected Path of Potential Tropical Cyclone

Wind speed Probability Map

Large impacts will be felt from the Florida Panhandle to the upper-Texas coast from tonight through Thursday. The biggest threat is heavy rainfall in these areas where coastal areas will see 6-12″ with locally much higher amounts (potentially isolated 12-20″ near the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts). Areas further inland across the Gulf states (Florida, parts of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and parts of Texas) will see heavy rainfall, too. The metro areas of Houston and New Orleans will have an enhanced flash flooding threat due to the impervious surfaces throughout the metro. This is not a hype forecast or to create panic, but catastrophic flooding could be observed due to rainfall in coastal areas.

Potential rainfall map through this week (NCEP)

The cyclonic flow around the low will also allow for sea water to ‘pileup’ causing flooding for areas just above sea-level for Louisiana and Texas. Secondary threats are wind (depending on the strength of the system) and isolated tornadoes. The latest guidance is indicating this system may become a strong tropical storm–borderline hurricane. This will be addressed in a future article, as well as the impacts as this storm moves inland. Keep checking back for updates!

12km NAM near-surface winds (Tuesday afternoon)

12km NAM predicted radar (Tuesday afternoon)

12km NAM near-surface winds (Wednesday evening)

12km NAM predicted radar (Wednesday evening

Texas and Louisiana Tropical System Impacts This Week

Invest 93 discussion

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is still keeping a close eye on the broad surface low (Invest 93) that has developed in the western Caribbean. The pressure continues to slowly drop and confidence is high that this low will become a tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico by Monday or Tuesday. The NHC is keeping a close eye on this system and has given the low an 90% chance of development into a tropical cyclone over the next five days and a 70% chance of development within 48 hours.

Invest 93 being watched as it moves into the Gulf of Mexico

Confidence increasing in Texas and Louisiana impacts

A more northwestern movement, followed by a westward movement, is beginning to emerge within much of the numerical guidance. This is similar to what the European model and 12km NAM have been showing. The GFS and Canadian are beginning to trend westward towards this solution. While the track of this low is very complicated, it does appear this low will drift northwestward due to an upper-level trough, then begin a westward movement towards the Texas coast as a mid-level ridge (across the southwest) and the Bermuda high build in and create a barrier across the northern Gulf of Mexico, which is why the numerical guidance is trending in this direction.

Tropical system off of the Louisiana coast Tuesday afternoon (12km NAM; simulated radar)

Tropical system off of the Louisiana coast Tuesday afternoon (12km NAM; near-surface wind map)

Tropical system off of the Texas coast Wednesday morning (12km NAM; simulated radar)

Tropical system off of the Texas coast Wednesday morning (12km NAM; near-surface wind map)

Potential rainfall map through next week (NCEP)
http://firsthandweather.com/?p=2800&preview=true

This solution would cause impacts for parts of Texas and Louisiana from Tuesday through Thursday. Very heavy rainfall is possible near the coast of Texas and Louisiana (and showers are storms are possible much further inland across these states), and coastal flooding is possible due to the onshore flow from this low. The cyclonic flow around the low would allow for sea water to ‘pileup’ causing flooding for areas just above sea-level. Secondary threats are wind (depending on the strength of the system) and isolated tornadoes. The metros (and surrounding suburbs) of New Orleans and Houston could see large impacts from this system depending on the exact track.

There is high confidence in the development of this low into a tropical system, but the confidence level is much lower in regards to the movement. All residents along the Gulf Coast (from Texas to Florida) need to keep a close eye on this system. Regardless of the movement, this system will rotate in rich moisture which could cause heavy rainfall for areas further east as well (the coast of Mississippi, Alabama, southern Georgia, and Florida). Keep checking back for updates!

Overnight Models For Tropical System That May Impact Gulf!

Just a brief morning update on Invest 93 and what the models showed overnight.

If you look at satellite imagery over the Caribbean this morning, you may think “wow, we have a tropical storm” but these images are creating a false impression. There is a nice area of convection in the Caribbean (area outlined in yellow) but the actual surface low is removed from this deep convection. The surface low is west of the convection (red ‘L’), which means there is shear in the Caribbean. The shear is beginning to lessen up so intensification of the low into a tropical depression or tropical storm is likely.

Morning satellite imagery of Caribbean

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is giving the low an 90% chance of development into a tropical cyclone over the next five days and a 60% chance of development within 48 hours.

Invest 93 being watched as it moves into the Gulf of Mexico

This is the latest spaghetti plot from the overnight models. What’s a spaghetti plot and why are they important? Click HERE to read more.

Below are the overnight runs of the 12km NAM, European, Canadian, and GFS-Parallel.

12km NAM predicted radar (Wednesday afternoon)

12km NAM near surface winds (Wednesday afternoon)

European position of low and winds above surface (Wednesday night)

Canadian predicted radar (Wednesday afternoon)

Canadian near surface winds (Wednesday afternoon)

GFS-Parallel predicted radar (Wednesday morning)

GFS-Parallel near surface winds (Wednesday morning)

So why are the models split on the path of the system? Click HERE to read why the models are split on the path!

Late Night Tropical Spaghetti For Those Along The Gulf!

Just a brief post about Invest 93 because I wanted to share the spaghetti plot with you all!

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is still keeping a close eye on the broad surface low (Invest 93) that has developed in the western Caribbean. Pressure continues to slowly drop and confidence is high that this low will become a tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico over the next few days. The NHC is keeping a close eye on this system and has given the low an 80% chance of development into a tropical cyclone over the next five days and a 40% chance of development within 48 hours.

On to the spaghetti:
So what exactly are spaghetti plots? Spaghetti plots are what meteorologists refer to when multiple numerical weather models are shown together. This creates a spaghetti like appearance because the individual model tracks are all plotted on the same image. These plots are important because they can give some insight into where a tropical system may track.

Here is the latest spaghetti plot for Invest 93 that is heading towards the Gulf of Mexico. The article (click on the next sentence) explains why the models are split with this system. Click here for latest detailed forecast and see the impacts Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida may see!

Tropical Impacts Likely Along The Gulf Coast Next Week!

As of this afternoon a broad surface low has developed in the western Caribbean. Pressure continues to slowly drop and confidence is high that this low will become a tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico over the next few days. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is keeping a close eye on this system and has given the low an 80% chance of development into a tropical cyclone over the next five days and a 30% chance of development within 48 hours.

Western Caribbean/southern Gulf of Mexico being monitored by the NHC

What happens early next week? Why?

Numerical guidance is still split on the movement of this low early next week. There are two possible scenarios once the low moves into the southern Gulf of Mexico by Monday: (I) the low moves northwestward towards the coast of Texas, or (II) the low moves northeastward towards the coast of Alabama/Florida. The track of the low is heavily dependent upon the position of the mid-level ridge across the southwestern United States (that may build eastward), the strength and position of the Bermuda High, and the evolution (amplification or deamplification) of the trough digging across the eastern United States next week.

Texas scenario:

The European model is showing the low pressure developing in the southern Gulf of Mexico by Monday and moving towards the west-northwest. This particular scenario is due to the the trough not being as elongated towards the northern Gulf, which does not create a weakness along the southeastern coast. The European actually shows the mid-level ridge across the southwestern United States building eastward across the northern Gulf of Mexico. This would act as a barrier (protecting Alabama and Florida from a direct impact) meaning the low would move northwest or west-northwest. This track would cause the greatest impacts along the coast of Mexico and Texas (by Wednesday). There would be impacts from Louisiana to Florida as well, however. Deep tropical moisture would stream into the area increasing heavy rain chances in these areas and rough seas along the coast. There could even be some coastal flooding near Louisiana and Texas due to the cyclonic rotation of this low. Heavy rain would also be likely across parts of Texas and Mexico. The European has been consistent with its westward path and low-end intensity, however, it should be noted: the European has had a slight trend further northwest and stronger with the low over the past few runs.

European 500mb map (Wednesday morning)

The 12km NAM is similar to the European but slightly further north. This scenario is worst case scenario because it meanders the low in the northern Gulf of Mexico, which would cause flooding rain across the coastal areas of Louisiana and Texas.

12km NAM potential rainfall map (through early next week)

This solution would also bring in tropical moisture to coastal areas of Mississippi, Alabama, and western Florida so heavy rainfall would be possible in these areas. Along with heavy rainfall, is the possibility of coastal flooding and beach erosion (especially for Mississippi, Louisiana, and eventually Texas) as this scenario would generate a strong onshore flow regardless of the intensity of the low.

12km NAM 10m wind speed map (Wednesday morning)

Alabama/Florida scenario:

The GFS-Parallel and Canadian (which have been consistent in their path, but have slowly adjusted slightly westward) show the low pressure moving towards the north-northeast as it approaches the coast of Alabama/Florida. (This guidance actually indicates a landfall just west of Panama City, Florida.) This particular scenario the GFS-Parallel and Canadian are painting is due to the the trough digging into the eastern United States remaining elongating, which creates a weakness along the southeastern United States. This also prevents the mid-level ridge across the southwestern United States from building eastward; creating a highway between southwestern ridge and Bermuda, which would steer the system into Florida by Tuesday night/Wednesday. This would mean the southeast (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina) would have the greatest impacts by the system; likely causing flooding across much of Florida and the Southeast. This scenario would also wrap some deep moisture into parts of the coastal areas of Mississippi and Louisiana, but the greatest coverage of convection would be in Florida.

GFS-Parallel potential rainfall map (through Thursday morning)

Along with heavy rainfall, is the possibility of coastal flooding and beach erosion for Florida and Alabama as this scenario would generate a strong onshore flow. It should be noted the GFS-Parallel and Canadian are much deeper with the low as it approaches the southeast (likely a tropical storm), but numerical guidance strength this early in the game should be taken with a grain of salt.

GFS-Parallel 500mb map (Tuesday afternoon)

How should you plan for this and confidence level:

The guidance is split on the intensity and track of this low after Monday, but confidence is high of a tropical depression developing in the southern Gulf of Mexico by Monday. Regardless of the eventual track of the system, impacts are possible from this system across most of the coastal regions along the Gulf Coast. If you live anywhere along the Gulf Coast (Florida to Texas), make sure you stay abreast to this fluid forecast and keep checking back for updates as the system’s movement becomes more certain.

Which scenario is most likely: Texas impact or Florida impact?

I believe the European (and to an extent the NAM) guidance is most realistic at this point, which would cause a more northwestward track. This would cause the greatest impacts in Louisiana and Texas; however, impacts would still be realized in Florida, and coastal areas of Alabama and Mississippi. I want to reiterate that track confidence is low. Everyone along the Gulf Coast needs to keep an eye on this system over the next 48-72 hours. (A concern of mine is the European has shown a tendency as of late to over amplify the ridges across the south. This is something I will keep a close eye on.)

An update will be provided tomorrow!

Severe weather moves from the Plains towards the Mid-Atlantic

Severe weather is a risk over the next couple of days from the Plains and Gulf Coast regions into the Appalachians towards the Mid-Atlantic.  While there is a low risk for tornadoes, there are significant risks for widespread damaging winds and  large hail.

A stationary front has been the focus for strong to severe thunderstorms over the Plains in recent days bringing over 900 reports of severe hail and wind from Texas to Wisconsin.  This front is interacting with a strong, fast moving cold front that will create the lift needed for a large area of showers and thunderstorms.  Some of these storms could be intense this morning as remnants of a Mesoscale convective system died out overnight across the Plains persists.  The severe weather moves on into the Appalachians by Sunday, and on to the Mid-Atlantic up into New England for Monday.

Saturday

The cold front, along with a strengthening low pressure system, will continue to progress southeastward from Central Iowa into Central Kansas.  The air ahead of this front remains warm and unstable with plenty of moisture.

Storms are likely to begin over Iowa and northern Kansas before spreading East from Michigan down into Missouri.  These thunderstorms are expected to form into linear squall lines over time due to weak low level shear yielding outflow dominant storms.    Any storms should begin to weaken after nightfall as they move east, where lapse rates will be lower.

Sunday

Scattered thunderstorms, with a primary risk of damaging winds, are expected from the Great Lakes into Northeast Texas.  The low pressure from Saturday will move from the Great Lakes into Canada but the cold front will remain across the Ohio Valley into the Southern Plains.

From the Great Lakes down through Tennessee, early remnants from overnight storms should clear with a moisture rich warm air-mass in place to meet the weakening cold front.  The ongoing wind regime should allow for strong multi-cluster cells to form.  Hail may also fall but will only be locally severe.

Further south, storms will be more isolated from the Texoma region into Arkansas.  Lift in this region will be weaker but the cold front will be a focus point for thunderstorms due to an elevated mixed layer and moist low level conditions.  These will form a very unstable boundary layer that could see the convective available potential energy (CAPE) approach 4000 Joules per kilogram.

In Mississippi and Alabama, scattered thunderstorms will develop during the daytime heating period.  Seasonably warm and moist air will become more unstable under conditions that have very little convective inhibition.  Strong to severe cells that do form will likely have marginally severe hail and localized damaging winds.

All southern storms should begin to weaken during the evening hours as daytime heating fades.

Starting off the work week, the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic are looking at pending severe weather as the cold front pushes east into more warm moist air Monday afternoon into the overnight hours effecting all the major metropolitan areas.

Rob

 

 

Tropical Troubles: Texas or Florida? How Strong?

The North Atlantic is quickly becoming active and confidence is growing that we may see a tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico by early next week. Numerical guidance has supported this idea over the past several runs and the National Hurricane Center (NHC) is keeping a close eye on this evolving scenario. The NHC has given an area of disturbed weather (over the western Caribbean) a 60% chance of development into a tropical cyclone over the next five days and a 10% chance of development within 48 hours (as the system crosses the Yucatan Peninsula and enters the southern Gulf of Mexico by Monday).

Western Caribbean/southern Gulf of Mexico being monitored by the NHC

What happens early next week? Why?

Numerical guidance parallels one another through the weekend, but by early next week the guidance diverges and uncertainty becomes high. This is where two possible scenarios evolve once the low establishes itself in the southern Gulf of Mexico: (I) the low is shunted near-due-westward towards the coast of Mexico/southern Texas, or (II) the low moves north-northeastward towards the coast of Alabama/Florida. The track of the low is heavily dependent upon the position of the mid-level ridge across the southwestern United States (that may build eastward), the strength and position of the Bermuda High, and the evolution (amplification or deamplification) of the trough digging across the eastern United States next week.

Mexico/Texas scenario:

The European model is showing the low pressure developing in the southern Gulf of Mexico by early next week (Monday) and moving towards the west or west-northwest. This particular scenario is due to the the trough not being as elongated towards the northern Gulf, which does not create a weakness along the southeastern coast. The European actually shows the mid-level ridge across the southwestern United States building eastward across the northern Gulf of Mexico. This would act as a barrier (protecting Alabama and Florida) meaning the low would move west to west-northwest. This path would cause impacts along the coast of Mexico and southern Texas (by Wednesday). If this scenario came to fruition, deep moisture moving into southern Texas would cause heavy rain, rough seas along the coast, and the potential of strong winds (depending on the strength of the system). It should be noted: the European is weaker with the low than the GFS-Parallel and Canadian due to adverse conditions (dry air and a potential Eastern Pacific system trying to develop) west of the system. Numerical guidance strength this early in the game should be taken with a grain of salt, however.

European 500mb map (Tuesday morning)

Alabama/Florida scenario:

The GFS-Parallel and Canadian show the low pressure moving towards the north-northeast as it approaches the coast of Alabama/Florida. (This guidance actually indicates a landfall near Panama City, Florida.) This particular scenario the GFS-Parallel and Canadian are painting is due to the the trough digging into the eastern United States remaining elongating, which creates a weakness along the southeastern United States. This also prevents the mid-level ridge across the southwestern United States from building eastward; creating a highway between southwestern ridge and Bermuda, which would steer the system into Florida by Tuesday night/Wednesday. This would mean the southeast (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina) would be impacted by the system; likely causing heavy rain, rough seas along the coast, and the potential of strong winds.

GFS-Parallel 500mb map (Tuesday morning)

A stalled frontal boundary across the northern Gulf would enhanced the heavy rain threat if this scenario came to fruition. It should be noted the GFS-Parallel and Canadian are much deeper with the low as it approaches the southeast (likely a tropical storm), but numerical guidance strength this early in the game should be taken with a grain of salt.

GFS-Parallel potential rainfall map (weekend through mid-week)

What should you do and confidence level:

While there are uncertainties in the exact evolution and movement of this system, we will gain more insight over the weekend into early next week. Confidence is moderately-high in a surface low developing in the southern Gulf of Mexico by Sunday evening/Monday. The confidence level becomes much lower when evaluating the eventual track and strength of the low. If you live anywhere along the Gulf Coast (Florida to Texas), make sure you stay abreast to this fluid forecast. Keep checking back for updates, and it would be wise to begin your tropical season preparations. Even if this system does not impact you, it is hurricane season, so it’s best to have a plan this time of the year!

Which scenario is most likely: Texas impact or Florida impact? And, how strong?

Please note, this is my opinion and updates will be needed once the low develops in the southern Gulf of Mexico. I believe the European guidance is most realistic at this point, which would cause a more westward track. However, I want to reiterate that track confidence is low. Those of you in Florida need to stay alert, too. A concern of mine is the European has shown a tendency as of late to over amplify the ridges across the south. This is something I will keep a close eye on.

If this low evolves in the southern Gulf of Mexico and deepens as it begins its movement (either westward or northward), I currently think this system will not get too strong. A low-to-mid-end strength tropical storm is most probable. SST are warm, there is relatively moist environmental conditions (outside of the coast of Mexico), the shear is pretty high. This shear will likely keep the system from getting too strong. With that said, just because the system may remain weak (wind-wise), flooding rain may be a huge concern.

GFS-Parallel environmental wind shear map (Tuesday morning)

An update will be provided tomorrow!