Tropical Development off the Southeast Coast

Tropical development is possible off the Southeast coast over the next few days. A broad area of low pressure is currently located over southern Georiga. This area of low pressure is expected to move off the Southeast coast, possibly developing into a Tropical Depression or Tropical Storm. The National Hurricane Center gives this area of low pressure a 30% chance to develop over the next 5 days.

The environmental conditions are expected to be marginally conducive for some slow development over the weekend and into early next week. The low will move into very warm Gulf Stream waters off the Southeast coast, so this will need to be monitored closely. The next name on the 2021 list for the Atlantic is Fred.

It is too early to determine the track if this system develops, but it does appear this system will move out-to-see. This will continue to be monitored. Regardless, it will create dangerous rip currents along the Southeast coast along with rough seas and spot showers for coastal areas.

Elsa to impact the entire East Coast

Elsa made landfall as a Tropical Storm this morning north of Tampa Bay, Florida. Elsa will continue to track northeast through the Southeast, into the Carolinas, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast from mid-week through the end of the week. Elsa will weaken through Thursday into a Depression, but regain Tropical Storm status off the coast of the Northeast Friday as the system moves back over water.

The main concern is heavy rain with Elsa as the system moves northeast. Widespread 2-5″ of rain can be expected from Florida, into eastern Georgia, through the eastern Carolinas, and coastal parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. This will lead to isolated areas of flash flooding.

There is also a risk for strong wind gusts and isolated tornadoes. The tornado threat with Elsa on Wednesday will be for northern Florida, eastern Georgia, eastern South Carolina, and southern North Carolina.

The tornado threat shifts north on Thursday into eastern North Carolina and coastal Virginia.

Latest on Elsa

Tropical Storm Elsa intensified Tuesday morning as the storm moved over the warm waters of the Florida Straits. Elsa now has winds of 60 mph with higher gusts. Elsa has started to turn more north with a forward motion of 10 mph to the NNW.

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Additional strengthening is likely Tuesday into Wednesday with Elsa nearing Hurricane status Wednesday morning before landfall just north of Tampa Bay. The current forecast calls for Elsa to make landfall as a strong Tropical Storm with sustained winds of 70 mph.

Elsa will turn northeast, moving through Florida, southeast Georgia, eastern South Carolina, eastern North Carolina, followed by ocean reentry off the coast of the Mid-Atlantic. Elsa will weaken into a Tropical Depression as it tracks north through Georgia and the Carolinas mid to late week. Restrengthening into a Tropical Storm is possible Friday as the system moves back over waters.

The main impact will be heavy rain to the east of the center of the storm, but isolated tornadoes and gusty winds are a hazard too. A detailed article on the impacts will come out later today.

Elsa has eye set on the United States, East Coast in the cone

Elsa remains a strong tropical storm Sunday as the storm moves west-northwest through the northern Caribbean. A gradual northwest turn is expected late-Sunday. Elsa has winds of 60 mph with higher gusts. Some slight strengthening is possible.

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Elsa is moving west-northwest at 13 mph between Jamaica and Cuba. A gradual northwest motion is expected late-Sunday, which will track Elsa across Cuba Monday. Before Elsa tracks across Cuba, slight strengthening is possible over the next 12 to 24-hours. Elsa may become a borderline category 1 hurricane.

The landfall over Cuba will help weaken Elsa Monday. The island terrain is rugged in Cuba, which will help weaken the center of circulation. Due to the small nature of the island, this won’t be enough to destroy Elsa. Elsa will move back over warm waters late-Monday, which could allow for additional strengthening Tuesday. While the atmospheric environment won’t be particularly favorable for strengthening, the warm waters cannot be overlooked.

Models do indicate this slight uptick in intensity once Elsa moves over the Florida Straits. Most models do indicate the intensity uptick will be small and Elsa should remain below hurricane status but this will continue to be monitored.

The current forecast tracks Elsa just off the west coast of Florida from Tuesday into Wednesday, making landfall north of Tampa early-Wednesday as a strong tropical storm. The storm will continue to move north-northeast by the end of the week, impacting the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Thursday into Friday.

Models are in agreement with this current forecast. Models do indicate Elsa will impact a good chunk of Florida along with the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. There are some subtle differences with how far east or west the center will track, but regardless, impacts will be the same.

The main concern is areas of heavy rain and isolated flash flooding from early to mid-week across Florida, spreading north and east into the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic from mid to late-week. Widespread 3-6″ of rain can be expected for Florida, southern Alabama, southern and eastern Georiga, and eastern South Carolina. Heavy rain is also expected in eastern North Carolina with 1-3″ possible.

Gusty winds and isolated tornadoes are also expected from Florida into Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina from south to north early week through mid-week. Tropical Storm Warnings have been issued for the Florida Keys.

Tropical Storm developing off the South Carolina/Georgia coasts

A well-defined low pressure is located off the coast of South Carolina. This low pressure has continued to organize with increased shower and thunderstorm activity.

A Tropical Depression or Tropical Storm is likely to develop over the next few hours as the system continues to move west-northwest. The low has a 70% chance to develop into a Tropical Depression or Tropical Storm.

Tropical Storm Warnings are possible for the coasts of South Carolina and Georgia over the next few hours as the system makes landfall late Monday near the South Carolina/Georgia border. Models are in strong agreement the system will make landfall Monday evening just north of the Georgia/South Carolina line. The low pressure will then continue to move west-northwest into Georgia followed by a track into northeastern Alabama by mid-week.

Coastal areas will experience rough seas, rip currents, and beach erosion. The main concern moving inland will be heavy rainfall. 2-5″ of rain can be expected from southeastern South Carolina, eastern Georgia, north and west into central Georgia, and northeastern Alabama over the next 48-hours. Areas of heavy rain will also move into southern Tennessee over the next 48-hours.

Winds gusting up to 35 mph are possible as the system moves west-northwest across the Southeast. The strongest winds will be located near the coast but 30 mph wind gusts are expected across all of South Carolina, Georgia, northeastern Alabama, and southeastern Tennessee Monday night into Tuesday.

Tropical Depression may develop off the Southeast coast, making landfall in Georgia/South Carolina

The low pressure off the Southeast coast has continued to organize and strengthen over the past 24-hours despite moderate wind shear over the system. Further strengthening is possible over the next 24-hours as the system moves into an area of lesser wind shear and over the Gulf Stream.

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The relaxed wind shear and the warm ocean waters of the Gulf Stream may be enough to allow the low pressure to acquire tropical characteristics. A Tropical Depression or Tropical Storm may develop Monday as the low approaches the Southeast Coast. The system has a 50% chance to develop into a Tropical Depression or Tropical Storm Monday.

The system will make landfall late Monday somewhere along with Georgia or South Carolina coast. Regardless of development, the system will produce rough seas, storm surge rip currents, and beach erosion for the aforementioned areas. Along with these hazards, an uptick in rain chances, gusty winds, along with isolated tornadoes and waterspouts are possible for coastal Georgia and coastal South Carolinas. The rain chances will also spread inland into Georiga and South Carolina.

Right now the forecast calls for 1-2″ of rain in southeast Georgia and southern South Carolina over the next 48-hours, but these totals may need to be upped over the next few hours if this system continues to strengthen.

The wind forecast is low at this time due to the system not being tropical. The current forecast calls for wind gusts up to 30 mph for much of South Carolina, northern and eastern Georgia, and southeastern North Carolina late Monday into Tuesday. If the system continues to strengthen, the wind forecast will need to be upped.

This is a fluid forecast. Keep checking back for updates!

Eyes on tropical development off of the Southeast coast, the system is moving towards the coast

The National Hurricane Center is monitoring an area of showers and thunderstorms a couple hundred miles south of Bermuda. This area of showers and thunderstorms is forecast to slowly advance west, towards the East Coast, over the coming days and should begin to observe a slight lowering of pressure.

As the pressure begins to lower, which is a sign of strengthening or organization, the broad area of low pressure may begin to develop into a Tropical Depression or Tropical Storm. Right now, any development is forecast to be rather slow, and the odds of development are very low. The National Hurricane Center gives this system a 10% chance of development over the next 5 days.

A current look at the system (the area of clouds on the right side of the image) shows showers and thunderstorms have increased in coverage but organization is currently lacking and there is no real surface circulation with the system.

The system will move into an area of moderate shear (red area off the coast of the Carolinas) over the next day or two, which should mitigate development. Shear disrupts tropical systems and tends to prevent them from developing and/or strengthening.

The shear will gradually relax by mid-week (notice the red colors disappear near the Carolinas), which could allow for organization and strengthening to gradually occur.

Regardless of strengthening, the system will track west due to an upper-high north of the system. The system will track along the southern periphery of the upper-high. This will guide the system into the Southeast Coast from mid to late week. It is likely this wont be a Tropical Depression or Storm, but increased atmospheric moisture is possible, leading to showers and storms that could produce heavy rain for parts of the Carolinas and Southeast.

This will continue to be monitored so keep checking back for updates.

Tropical Storm Watches go up for parts of the Carolinas

Tropical Storm Claudette made landfall in Louisiana Saturday and continues to wreak havoc across parts of the South & Southeast with heavy rainfall, strong winds, and tornadoes.

The impacts from Tropical Storm Claudette are forecast to continue through the weekend into early next week as the system begins to undergo renewed strengthening over the Carolinas, and just off the coast of the Carolinas. The system is forecast to ramp up into a 40 to 45 mph storm near the Carolinas Monday.

Because of the forecast strengthening, Tropical Storm Watches have been issued for eastern parts of North Carolina. This means Tropical Storm conditions are forecast within the next 48-hours in and near the Watch. These Watches will be upgraded to Warnings and may get expanded, over the next day. Expect Tropical Storm force winds in this area late-Sunday into Monday–winds will gust up to 60 mph.

Along with the strong winds from Claudette, isolated tornadoes are expected Saturday and Sunday for parts of the South and Southeast. Tornadoes with the system have already caused substantial damage in parts of Alabama.

One of the main concerns will be the flood threat with heavy rain expected. The heavy rain threat will shift into the Southeast and Carolinas from Sunday into Monday. A widespread 3-6″ is expected with isolated 8″ amounts. Never cross a road covered by water and be vigilant if you live in a flood-prone area.

Tropical Storm may develop in the Gulf of Mexico next week

The National Hurricane Center is monitoring the southwestern Gulf of Mexico for tropical development over the next several days. A low pressure is forecast to develop, which may acquire tropical characteristics, developing into a Tropical Depression or Tropical Storm. The National Hurricane Center gives this system a 40% chance to develop into a Tropical Depression or Storm over the next 5 days.

An area of showers and thunderstorms is forecast to develop over the weekend into early next week in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico. This area of thunderstorms will start to observe a lowering of pressure as the system starts to strengthen over the coming days. 

As the system continues to organize, it may develop into a well-defined low pressure by the middle of next week in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. At this point, the low pressure may acquire tropical characteristics, developing into a Tropical Depression or Tropical Storm. 

The low, possibly tropical, by the end of the week will approach the Gulf States from late week into the weekend. There are too many questions to pinpoint where this system may move inland so all areas from Texas to Florida should keep a close eye on the forecast over the coming days. 

This forecast is fluid with quite a bit of uncertainty. A tropical system may not even develop, but regardless of development, tropical moisture and associated rain may move into the Gulf States by next weekend. Recent heavy rains across Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi could lead to an increased flash flood concern if rain associated with this system impacts the region. 

Tropical system developing in the Gulf of Mexico

Monitoring an area of disturbed weather over the western Gulf of Mexico for possible tropical development Friday. This area of disturbed weather has gradually experienced a drop in pressure with increasing shower and thunderstorm coverage throughout Thursday into Friday. With the slow organization of this area of low pressure, recent model guidance continues to indicate the possibility of this developing into a low-end tropical system late-Friday.

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The environmental conditions do favor the possibility of tropical development. Atmospheric wind shear is minimal over the western Gulf of Mexico along with warm water temperatures. The Gulf of Mexico water temperatures have continued to warm through May and are now in the upper-70s & lower-80s. This would support tropical development. 

The National Hurricane Center is monitoring this area of low pressure over the western Gulf of Mexico and has increased the chance for tropical development to 40% Friday. 

A building upper-level high over the Southeast will help steer this low pressure north Friday, spreading deep moisture and heavy rain into southeastern and coastal Texas as well as coastal Louisiana. These areas have already received excessive rainfall amounts over the past week so heavy rain will increase the flood threat. The intensifying low pressure would act to increase the tornado potential along the upper-Texas coast late-Friday.  

Regardless of tropical development, the low pressure will spread heavy rain into southeastern and coastal Texas and coastal Louisiana Friday. If the low pressure gains tropical characteristics, it would likely remain weak–becoming a Tropical Depression or weak Tropical Storm, making landfall late-Friday along the upper-Texas coast. The 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins June 1st.