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    Agatha's Potential Impacts on the United States

    By By Kristina Pydynowski, Senior Meteorologist, AccuWeather.com
    June 01, 2010, 3:28:44 AM EDT

    The complete demise of once-Tropical Storm Agatha will not come over Central America. The remnants of Agatha may eventually impact Florida by the middle of the week. In fact, the possibility of the system re-strengthening cannot be totally ruled out.

    Agatha continues to drop extremely heavy rainfall as a tropical rainstorm across Central America. As dangerous flooding and mudslides ensue, more lives will be threatened.

    Nearly 100 people were killed by flooding and mudslides caused by the storm in Central America over the weekend, many of which occurred in Guatemala. Dozens of people remain missing in the region, as workers continue to clear debris from roads to reach blocked off communities.


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    The mountainous terrain of Central America severely heightens the concern of additional mudslides as torrential rain pours down. However, the mountains are also what caused Agatha to lose its tropical storm status on Saturday evening, only 12 hours after the storm acquired its name.

    Most storms typically totally dissipate once slamming into the mountains of Central America. The center of Agatha, however, is expected to survive the trip over the rough terrain and should continue pushing northeastward over the next few days.

    Tropical Rainstorm Agatha will graze the eastern Yucatan Peninsula today, then reach the Florida Peninsula at midweek.

    Questions of potential re-strengthening have to be addressed since the forecast path takes Agatha over the warm waters of the southern Gulf of Mexico.


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    Fortunately, winds high in the atmosphere (referred to as wind shear) over the Gulf of Mexico are expected to be too strong for any tropical system to develop. That is also good news, at this time, for those concerned of a hurricane hitting the oil slick area.

    The possibility of Agatha re-strengthening will increase if the system passes over the open waters of the northwestern Caribbean before reaching Florida. The wind shear will be less disruptive to tropical development over the Caribbean.

    In this scenario, the stronger wind shear over the Gulf of Mexico would quickly weaken Agatha before the storm reaches Florida.

    If Agatha were to strengthen back into a tropical storm, it would acquire another name from the Atlantic Basin list. That would also bring the Atlantic Basin its first tropical storm of the year, which is to be named "Alex."

    A tropical system only keeps its name as it travels from the Eastern Pacific to the Atlantic, or vice versa, if it does not dissipate into a tropical rainstorm over Central America.

    Even if no re-strengthening takes place, Agatha will still adversely impact the Florida Peninsula during the middle of the week. Downpours accompanying the system could trigger flooding, especially in urban and poor drainage areas.

    Motorists should use caution since reduced visibility will result from not only the downpours, but also spray from other vehicles. Water ponding on highways will also heighten the danger of vehicles hydroplaning.

    Related to the Story: How Does Joe Bastardi's Hurricane Forecast Compare to NOAA? Tropical Weather Center Visit our Facebook Fan Page Follow us on Twitter Breaking Weather

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