in Breaking News, General, Tropics

Atlantic Tropical Season off to a fast start

The Atlantic tropical season was already off to a quick start as Tropical Storm Bonnie dropped several inches of rain along the East Coast, but rumors of Bonnie’s demise were greatly exaggerated.

Tropical Depression Bonnie

After sliding back over the gulf stream as noted on Firsthand Weather the other day, Bonnie has reformed into the Tropical Depression and is currently expected to regain Tropical Storm status overnight.  She won’t maintain that strength long as weakening is expected on Friday as she moves away from the North Carolina coast and the warmer waters.  Maximum sustained winds are currently at 35 MPH with a central pressure at 1008 mb.

Bonnie 1

On this track, Bonnie should once again be a post Tropical low by this weekend.

Atlantic Tropical Formation Risk

Elsewhere in the Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico looks to be the best chance for the next storm to develop.  A developing low pressure system is expected to the Yucatan and the Southern Gulf of Mexico over the weekend.  This system will move North Northeast towards the Florida peninsula.


There exists some additional uncertainty with the progress of this system since it hasn’t developed fully yet.  As this system comes together a better focus can be placed on this area.

Tropical Discussion

Southwesterly upper level flow is noted on water vapor imagery across the Southwestern and central Caribbean this evening promoting a diffluent and unstable environment. Given the favorable lifting dynamics and the presence of a tropical wave in the Southwestern Caribbean, scattered showers and thunderstorms are occurring over portions of Central America, the Greater Antilles and much of the their adjacent coastal waters this evening due to upper level diffluence and peak daytime heating and instability. Most of this convection is occurring within fresh to strong trade winds that are expected to increase slightly through the overnight hours into Friday.

A middle to upper level low is also noted on water vapor imagery over Texas. This upper level feature supports a broad area of low pressure across Texas and the lower Mississippi River valley focused on a 1012 mb low centered across North Texas. A squall line extends from southwestern Louisiana to offshore of Brownsville Texas.  Scattered showers and thunderstorms are occurring across the Northwestern Gulf waters. The remainder of the basin is under the influence of gentle to moderate East to Southeast winds on the western periphery of a weak ridge anchored by a 1017 mb high centered across the Florida Big Bend region. The middle to upper level low is expected to drift east over eastern Texas through Friday night then move South to Southwest over northern Mexico providing the Northwestern Gulf with increased chances of precipitation through the upcoming weekend.

As the area of strong trades translates westward Saturday across the Northwest Caribbean waters, an area of low pressure is expected to develop in the Gulf of Honduras Saturday night late into early Sunday and move North Northwest across the Yucatan peninsula then into the south-central Gulf of Mexico early Monday. Strong to near gale force Southeast winds will accompany this low pressure area on its eastern periphery and impact the Northwest Caribbean waters and Yucatan Channel region.

Global models indicate this developing low pressure could develop into the next Tropical System in the south-central Gulf waters Sunday night late into early Monday.  This system will be reaching the Northeast Gulf by early Tuesday. Likely hazards from this potential area of low pressure, which would be the earliest C named tropical system if it becomes Colin, will be increased winds and building seas across the Northeast Gulf waters in addition to the likelihood of heavy rainfall and possible flooding across central and northern Florida early next week.

All other areas of the Atlantic Basin are quiet at this time.


Robert Millette

Staff Meteorologist

Firsthand Weather