Tropical development is possible in the Gulf of Mexico this upcoming week

The National Hurricane Center is keeping a close eye on the Gulf of Mexico for possible tropical development this upcoming week.

Join the Firsthand Weather Supporter Group today to see a video update on the system.

Saturday morning, the National Hurricane Center highlighted the Southwestern Gulf of Mexico within a 20% chance (low) for tropical development this upcoming week.

A broad area of low pressure is expected to develop as environmental conditions become favorable for potential organization. This organization and strengthening could allow for a tropical cyclone to eventually develop although the odds are currently low.

Those odds could increase over time as shear is forecast to become low over the Gulf of Mexico and the sea surface temperatures are anomalously warm. Firsthand Weather has been closely monitoring the Gulf of Mexico for this potential development.

It’s too early to determine which areas could see impacts from this system, tropical or not, but all interests along the Gulf Coast and Southeast Coast should keep a close eye on the forecast over the coming days.

The first name on the 2022 Atlantic Names List is Alex. The Atlantic Hurricane Season begins June 1. See NOAA’s Hurricane Outlook for 2022.

Increasing chances for tropical development in Gulf

The 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins June 1. Unlike the previous past several Mays, this May has yet to feature a named storm. In fact, there’s only been one system that was given a chance to develop. This system failed to develop into an organized tropical system before making landfall. Despite the lack of May activity this year, NOAA is still predicting an above-average Atlantic Hurricane Season.

It’s possible the first official week of the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season gets off to a quick start. Models are suggesting increased odds of some type of tropical development in the Gulf of Mexico sometime around the middle to end of next week/weekend. To be precise, this is sometime around June 1-5.

There is a strong likelihood that a tropical system will develop in the Eastern Pacific later this week/weekend. The National Hurricane Center gives this system an 80% chance, or a high chance, to develop over the next 5 days in the Eastern Pacific.

As this system develops and organizes, it appears it’ll make landfall in south Mexico/Central America before crossing over into the Bay of Campeche. As this system crosses the higher terrain of this region, it’ll likely dissipate becoming a non-organized, non-tropical system but some of the energy and structure will remain intact.

At that point, the system could develop back onto a tropical cyclone, possibly a Tropical Depression or Tropical Storm. It’s too early for specifics but wind shear at the time looks light enough to favor development and the sea surface temperatures are quite warm in the region. In fact, the entire Gulf of Mexico is running above average right now.

Because of this, models have started honing in on the possibility of development in the Southwestern Gulf of Mexico late next week. The reliable European ensembles are showing a greater than 50% chance for development near the Bay of Campeche late next week.

If this system develops, there are a lot of questions as to where it would move. A lot of times, these systems can make landfall in Mexico but some also have impacted the U.S. While it’s too early to make this call if this system even develops, the European guidance is suggesting the system could potentially meander in the Central Gulf of Mexico, possibly to eventually be picked up by a trough which will pull the system northeast toward possibly the Gulf States.

Again, a lot of questions to be ironed out. This system could not even develop and U.S. impacts are far from a given. At this point, keep checking back frequently for updates if you live along the Gulf Coast and/or Southeast Coast.

Climatologically favored areas for tropical development during June are the Gulf of Mexico and the western Caribbean so it bears watching. Stay tuned!

NOAA predicting an above-average Atlantic Hurricane Season

The 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season is expected to feature above-average activity according to NOAA’s latest forecast. NOAA is forecasting 14-21 Named Storms (average 14), 6-10 Hurricanes (average 7), and 3-6 Major Hurricanes (average 3).

NOAA gives the odds of an above-average season of 65%. The reasons for the expected above-average activity are due to La Nina and associated weaker trade winds, warm sea-surface temperatures, and an active West African monsoon. These variables all favor a hyperactive season.

It’s important to note: that just because an above-average season is expected, that does not mean all named systems will impact land but the odds do increase with an above-average season. Also, it only takes ONE system to impact land to cause significant, life-altering impacts.

Here is the list of Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Names for the upcoming 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

The Atlantic Hurricane Season begins June 1 but it is important to begin preparing NOW so you’re ready for hurricane season. Here are a few tips to be prepared in case a tropical system impacts your area: determine your personal hurricane risk, find out if you live in a hurricane evacuation zone, and review/update insurance policies, make a list of items to replenish hurricane emergency supplies and prepare your home for the coming hurricane season.

Watching the Gulf of Mexico for tropical development

The Atlantic Hurricane Season doesn’t officially begin until June 1st but the National Hurricane Center is already monitoring an area in the Gulf of Mexico for potential development over the next 24 to 36 hours.

A broad area of low pressure over the north-central Gulf has observed an uptick in thunderstorm activity recently. While the area of low pressure and thunderstorms remains weak and unorganized, this area has been given a 10% chance for tropical development over the next 24 to 48 hours according to the National Hurricane Center.

At this time, it appears the environment over this region of the Gulf will remain unfavorable for development before the low moves onshore in about 24 to 36 hours.

While tropical development looks unlikely at this time, this system will increase shower and thunderstorm activity for the central Gulf Coast and create rough beach conditions for the Gulf Coast. Stay tuned for updates!

South & Southeast: a wetter, cooler weather pattern

A strong summer-like ridge is controlling the weather across the South & Southeast. This ridge is allowing temperatures to skyrocket well above average into the 90s and this is expected to stick around through the end of the workweek into the first half of the weekend, but there are changes in store with a changing weather pattern.

Guidance suggests this ridge will weaken and move eastward off the Southeast coast with a trough digging into central parts of the country. This changing weather pattern will help increase moisture on the western periphery of the ridge along with sending a cold front into the region for the second half of the weekend.

Temperatures will stay in the 90s through Saturday but the cold front arrives overnight Saturday into Sunday, which will significantly drop temperatures. Temperatures will fall from highs in the 90s with a few 100s (Wednesday through Saturday), down into the 70s & lower 80s (Sunday through Tuesday). Low temperatures will fall into the 50s & lower 60s, which will be quite refreshing.

Wednesday’s forecast highs
Thursday’s forecast highs
Friday’s forecast highs
Saturday’s forecast highs
Sunday’s forecast highs
Monday’s forecast highs
Tuesday’s forecast highs

Rain chances also increase over the weekend into early next week with this pattern change. Isolated to scattered showers and storms are expected, which is great news as some areas in the South & Southeast are beginning to slip into abnormally dry & drought conditions. Expect a widespread 0.75-1.25″ of rain with higher amounts possible. Widespread or organized severe weather is not expected.

Rainfall forecast next 7-days

A few tornadoes and damaging winds expected for the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic today

Another round of active weather and severe thunderstorms is expected today for parts of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic as a cold front clashes with a warm, moist airmass across the region. Storms are ongoing early in the day today across western parts of the risk area. These storms will gradually shift east throughout the day and grow in intensity and coverage. Severe storms are likely from late morning into the afternoon and evening hours. Because of the severe threat, the Storm Prediction Center has highlighted a region from the Southeast, Carolinas, Mid-Atlantic, and Ohio Valley within an enhanced (orange – level 3/5), slight (yellow – level 2/5), and marginal (dark green – level 1/5) severe risk.

Today’s (Friday) thunderstorm outlook

All modes of severe weather are possible. This includes tornadoes, damaging winds, and hail. The main concern is damaging winds with a secondary threat of a few tornadoes along with hail. Thunderstorms will have the capability to produce winds between 60 to 75 mph with the strongest storms that develop this afternoon. The greatest concern for damaging winds exists from eastern Alabama into Georgia, eastern Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.

Today’s (Friday) wind threat

A few tornadoes are also a concern this afternoon and evening. Any storm will have the capability to produce tornadoes this afternoon with a higher concern near a warm front that will lie across North Carolina and Virginia. Because of the warm front and favorable tornadic environment near the warm front, there is an elevated tornado risk from northern North Carolina into southern Virginia. There is another elevated tornado risk across eastern Alabma and Georgia.

Today’s (Friday) tornado threat

If you live in or near the risk areas, please have a plan in place in case a warning is issued, and have a couple of reliable sources to receive weather warnings from.

Severe weather outbreak possible today

A dangerous severe weather day is expected for parts of the Southern Plains with several tornadoes and hurricane-force winds possible this afternoon and evening. The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted an area within a moderate (level 4/5) and enhanced (level 3/5) severe risk from central and northern Oklahoma into southern Kansas east into southwestern Missouri, and northwestern Arkansas.

These risk areas include Tulsa, OK; Stillwater, OK; Norman, OK; Oklahoma City, OK; Wichita, KS; Joplin, MO; Fort Smith, AR; and Fayetteville, AR. This is where there is the greatest concern for the most widespread damaging winds, large hail, and tornadoes.

Surrounding the high, moderate, and enhanced severe risk area is a slight (level 2/5) and marginal (level 1/5) severe risk area which extends down into northern Texas and east into the Mid-South. Within all the severe risk areas, there is the possibility of damaging winds, large hail, and tornadoes.

Severe storms will fire up early this afternoon west of I-35 in Kansas and Oklahoma and eventually move east through the afternoon into the evening hours.

If you live in this area, please have a couple of reliable sources to receive weather information from, and have a plan in place in case a warning is issued for your area.