Carlotta Could Mean Trouble Will Brew in the Gulf

June 18, 2012; 6:39 PM
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"After Tropical Storm Beryl passed yesterday afternoon, many people took to the water to take advantage of the great surf. I spent a solid 3 hours shooting the surfing action at the Bogue Inlet Pier on Emerald Isle!" said Flickr user <a href="""target=blank">The Uprooted Photographer</a>.

Carlotta threatens to bring feet of rain in Mexico, but the remnants could end up developing tropically in the Atlantic next week.

The area of concern in the Atlantic next week is the Bay of Campeche in the southern Gulf of Mexico. Expert Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski said that there are different scenarios for the tropical Atlantic into next week.

Scenario One
The remnants of Carlotta could end up in the Gulf of Mexico during the middle of next week, Kottlowski warned. First the system will retrograde then move northward through the Gulf of Tehuantepac of Mexico into the Bay of Campeche around Wednesday.

Tropical development of the remnant low is possible with fairly ideal conditions across the southern Gulf of Mexico. Weak wind shear and warm waters are two favorable conditions that are expected.

If a tropical storm forms in the Atlantic in this scenario, it would be named Chris, the next name on the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane season list. According to the NHC, a new naming rule for the tropics is: if a system dissipates before the remnants move into a different basin and develop, then the system gets a new name.

"With a big ridge of high pressure to the north... If something develops, it may not have an option of where to go," Kottlowski said. It may either stay put over the Bay of Campeche or be steered west-northwestward into Mexico as an organized tropical system.

If a system hits Mexico, there will be the potential for moderate to heavy rain to reach the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas to the mid-Texas coast. Any rain that falls will be beneficial; however, if heavy rain falls very quickly, there could be a flash flood threat.

Scenario Two
Carlotta may move west-northwest and die over Mexico north of Acapulco. In this scenario, the remnants would not make it into the Atlantic.

Remainder of the Atlantic
The rest of the Atlantic basin is very quiet due to an abundance of dry air, as well as the presence of dust and high wind shear.

Strong wind shear, which is the rapid change of wind speed or direction with altitude, causes building clouds to be tilted, restricting vertical development. Unless a tropical system has a vertically oriented core, its ability to develop is diminished.

Dust is like a filter, it reduces the amount of heating necessary for tropical systems develop. It is also a sign of dry air from the deserts of Africa, which would also act as an inhibiting factor for storms.

Meanwhile, a low east of the Carolinas will continue to head eastward toward Bermuda. Strong wind shear should inhibit development, but the low may deliver torrential downpours to Bermuda into early next week.

Visit the Hurricane Center to see numerous Atlantic satellite images and read tropical discussions by expert meteorologists.


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