Tropical Disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico Next Week?

June 23, 2011; 8:32 PM ET
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One possible scenario may allow a disturbance to form in the western Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico. Another scenario is there is just a broad area of low pressure and a zone of showers and thunderstorms. meteorologists are not overly concerned about any strong tropical system in the Gulf in the near future. However, there is some room for a weak low pressure area to form.

Given the increasing amount of moisture that will be available next week, any system that organizes that moisture could unload very heavy rainfall in some areas.

Even without any organized tropical low rolling onshore, there is the potential for several inches of rain to fall over a seven- to 10-day stretch in the upcoming weather pattern in some locales.

If a tropical low becomes involved, this sort of rainfall could occur in as many hours.

The splitting of surface high pressure that has dominated the weather over the Gulf of Mexico much of the spring would open the door to the tropics.

This process has already begun in the form of big downpours over parts of Texas.

Take away this dry air source and throw in a light southeasterly flow of moisture all the way from the Caribbean and you have some reason to believe one or more weak low pressure areas may form forward of this weekend somewhere in the western Gulf.

There is uncertainty as to whether or not the high will remain split over the Gulf next week..

According to Tropical Weather Expert Dan Kottlowski, "Our tools are suggesting that less wind shear will develop over the Atlantic Basin by the end of June into early July."

"When wind shear (strong winds aloft) and dry air are present, it is disruptive for tropical storm formation," Kottlowski said.

Much of the Gulf Coast region has been suffering through moderate to exceptional drought since early in the spring.

As a result, a weak tropical system would not necessarily be a bad thing, as long as it did not sit over an area and unload a foot of rain in a couple of days.

"We are being cautious about the scenario portrayed by some computer models. They tried this before recently in the Caribbean," Kottlowski added.

"Eventually, due to the warm water and decreasing shear we will get a tropical low to form. It is more a question of when," Kottlowski said in closing.


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