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Eye on Gulf of Mexico as Hurricane Season Starts

By By Kristina Pydynowski, senior meteorologist
June 03, 2014, 3:58:20 AM EDT

The Atlantic Hurricane Season commenced on Sunday and there are already tropical concerns for the Gulf of Mexico later this week as a new depression has formed south of Mexico. meteorologists are monitoring Tropical Depression Two-E south of Mexico and an area of disturbed weather across Central America for eventual tropical troubles in the Gulf of Mexico.

The area of disturbed weather currently over Central America is expected to develop into a broad area of low pressure across the Bay of Campeche at midweek.

This low could track to northeastern Mexico with drenching rain and thunderstorms or slowly linger in the Bay of Campeche later in the week.


Even if the low tracks into northeastern Mexico, energy from the depression currently south of Mexico (not the depression itself though) could get transferred to the southern Gulf of Mexico later in the week and attempt to re-organize. meteorologists will be closely monitoring both of these features for possible development as they pass over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The main battle each faces will be wind shear (strong winds above the surface that can rip apart tropical systems).

"An upper-level area of high pressure building over Texas and extending eastward holds the key to the movement of any low forming over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico several days from Monday," stated Tropical Expert Dan Kottlowski.

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"If that high builds strongly to the east, it will force any low pressure area in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico to drift westward into Mexico."

Kottlowski continued, "If the high does not build much to the east, there could be a steering wind flow that could guide a low in the southwestern or southern Gulf of Mexico to the north or northeast."


This latter solution could lead to heavy rain spreading across western Cuba, Florida and the Southeast U.S. during the week of June 9.

Before any feature attempts to develop in the Gulf of Mexico, the eastern Pacific Ocean has once again come alive.

Tropical Depression Two-E formed Monday afternoon and is expected to further strengthen into a tropical storm as it drifts northward to the Gulf of Tehuantepec by midweek. The next tropical storm in the eastern Pacific would acquire the name Boris.


Between the depression and the disturbed weather across Central America, southeastern Mexico, including the Yucatan Peninsula, Guatemala and El Salvador will remain the target of torrential rainfall this week.

"Flooding rain and mudslides would be the main impact, with some mountainous areas potentially receiving 10 to 20 inches (250 to 500 mm) of rain," stated Meteorologist Rob Miller.

Such rain totals will most likely to be recorded in the Mexican states of Oaxaca and Chiapas and Guatemala, including at some coastal communities, from the depression.

Cities at risk of a soaking include Merida and Guatemala City. Vacationers at the resort cities of Cancun and Chetumal also face an unpleasant stretch of wet weather.

"It has already been active across the resort areas on the Yucatan Peninsula due to daily thunderstorms, but the weather will only get worse this week as moisture from the tropical systems comes into play," Miller continued.

Despite the disruptions to vacationers and the prospect of flooding and mudslides, Miller pointed out that the rain will bring long-term benefits to easing the ongoing drought across the area.


Following a season with the fewest number of hurricanes since 1982, the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season is expected to follow suit as a below-normal hurricane season.

That does not mean that residents in coastal communities should let their guard down, reported Staff Writer Kristen Rodman.

"All we need is one hurricane," Kottlowski continued. "Just because we are saying this is going to be an inactive season doesn't mean we couldn't have a couple of very intense hurricanes."

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