Gabrielle Soaks Virgin Islands; New Gulf Depression

By , Senior Meteorologist
September 6, 2013; 10:07 PM ET
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What was once Tropical Storm Gabrielle and another disturbance will continue to bring flooding downpours to the U.S. Virgin Islands and parts of Puerto Rico through early this weekend. Tropical Depression Eight has formed in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico and will bring drenching rain to the Mexican state of Veracruz and others.

Gabrielle weakened Thursday midday, but there are still copious amounts of moisture with the system across the eastern Caribbean.

Rainfall rates of one inch per hour were measured at the Charlotte Amalie Airport in Saint Thomas Thursday night. Heavy rain also drenched the British Virgin Islands.

Tropical Rainstorm Gabrielle in Northeastern Caribbean

Gabrielle and the system's associated moisture will continue to move slowly toward the north-northwest through Saturday. There will be numerous showers and thunderstorms with the system and behind it, bringing the risk of flash flooding and locally strong gusty winds.

At 11:00 a.m. Thursday, Gabrielle was downgraded to a tropical depression and by 11:00 p.m. Thursday, the system was no longer a tropical cyclone. It is not likely to become a hurricane.

A second disturbance in the vicinity could unfold into an organized tropical system next week, north of the Caribbean islands.

Total rainfall amounts of 4 to 8 inches are likely from Puerto Rico to the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, but the rugged terrain will enhance the rainfall and the threat of flash flooding and mudslides.

As of 12 a.m. EDT, Friday, San Juan, P.R., had received 1.79 inches of rain over the past 72 hours. During the same period in the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Thomas picked up 6.98 inches with 3.22 inches falling on St. Croix.

The area from the Windward and Leeward islands to the British and U.S. Virgin Islands has been subject to locally heavy showers and gusty thunderstorms since the start of the week.

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"The mountainous terrain of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola is likely to interfere with the circulation of the system and is likely to hinder redevelopment," said Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.

There is the potential for sudden rough seas in the region, associated with squalls. These can be a hazard for small craft.

Indications are that during next week, disruptive westerly winds in the atmosphere may continue to limit development of Gabrielle or the other disturbance tagging along.

These same winds could keep the center of both systems from reaching the United States mainland. However, it is possible some downpours reach Bermuda.

While there are some factors that will limit the intensity of this system, people should continue to monitor its progress as occasionally tropical systems can pulse.

Tropical Depression Eight in Southwestern Gulf of Mexico

Another system has made its way from the Caribbean, across the Yucatan Peninsula and into the southwestern Gulf of Mexico. Tropical Depression Eight formed near Tampico, Mexico Friday afternoon.

"The system almost ran out of time to develop, as it was located near the east coast of Mexico Friday morning," Kottlowski stated, "But, it has become Tropical Depression Eight Friday afternoon."

The system will produce drenching showers and locally gusty thunderstorms along the southwest coast of the southwestern Gulf of Mexico into the weekend.

The new depression will bring the potential for torrential rain, flooding and mudslides from the Mexico states of Veracruz to Tamaulipas. The Veracruz, Mexico, and the city by the same name, was hit hard by Tropical Storm Fernand in late August.

Some areas in northeastern Mexico could receive ten inches of rain before the system dissipates drifting inland this weekend.

Tampico, Mexico, has received 1.50 inches of rain during the 48 hours since Wednesday morning. During the 12 hours since Thursday evening, Veracruz has received 4.00 inches of rain.

Some fringe-effect showers and and thunderstorms can reach into parts of South Texas into this weekend.

Monitoring Other Systems

Other systems are being monitored in the Atlantic Basin, including the train of disturbances moving off the coast of Africa.


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