Watching the Gulf, Potential for Beneficial Texas Rains

By Brian Edwards, Meteorologist
August 17, 2012; 4:04 AM ET
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Tropical moisture associated with the former T.D. 7 may be drawn into the southwest Gulf of Mexico this weekend, which could lead to the development of a new system.

Our meteorologists continue to monitor the remnants of former Tropical Depression Seven which was ripped apart over the central Atlantic last weekend. Tropical Expert Dan Kottlowski states that "This wave is still moving rapidly westward at about 20 mph over the western Caribbean. Given this speed a good part of the wave will move inland over eastern Nicaragua and eastern Honduras by Thursday morning."

However, this isn't the end of the problems that this feature could cause for the U.S. or Mexico.

The Gulf of Mexico and much of the Caribbean are being dominated by an elongated area of high pressure which has two centers, one over the northern Bahamas and another over the Southwest.

A southeasterly flow of air around this high could send some of that remnant tropical moisture into the southwestern Gulf by Friday or Saturday.

This moisture could then be drawn up into northeastern Mexico and southern Texas sometime over the weekend or early next week, bringing a threat for tropical downpours to Brownsville, McAllen, Harlingen and perhaps Corpus Christi.

Most of this area is suffering from a severe to extreme drought according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Rainfall has been highly variable across southern Texas this month with Brownsville receiving almost 3.5 inches of rain while McAllen has picked up just a trace. Harlingen has only received 0.17 of an inch thus far in August.

Therefore, any rainfall will be welcomed with open arms especially after McAllen has been above 100 degrees 12 of the 13 days this month!

What About Tropical Development?? meteorologists are also concerned about the potential for tropical development in association with the remnant moisture of T.D. 7 once it gets into the southwestern Gulf. Meteorologist Andrew Mussoline stated that "The chance for tropical development appears low; however, we can certainly see some beneficial rains being pulled northward into southern Texas."

Conditions over the weekend will be somewhat favorable to sustain a tropical entity over the southwest Gulf with relatively light winds aloft and high pressure in place overhead.

Along with that, sea surface temperatures over the Gulf are very warm, averaging between 28-30 degrees Celsius which is more than warm enough to sustain tropical features.

The bottom line is that there are a lot of factors to watch over the next few days in terms of how this moisture gets drawn northward and what track it takes.

Stay tuned to the Hurricane Center as we continue to monitor the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.


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