• Bryan Norcross

AREA TO WATCH IN THE WESTERN GULF OF MEXICO

A complex weather pattern has developed over Central America and the surrounding waters. A large low-pressure circulation – technically called the Central American Gyre (a gyre is a large circulation) – centered over southern Mexico spreads south to Costa Rica and over the waters of the Pacific Ocean, the western Caribbean Sea, and the extreme southern Gulf of Mexico.

Embedded in that large circulation is a fairly weak Pacific tropical storm named Amanda. Tropical Storm Amanda has moved ashore over the Pacific coast of Guatemala with gusty winds and very heavy rain. The storm’s circulation will be disrupted over the mountains as the disturbance moves north toward the extreme southern Gulf.

When that remnant disturbance arrives at the Gulf about Tuesday, the atmospheric conditions appear favorable for the system to organize. It’s forecast to be very close to land, however, so whether a Gulf storm can actually develop this week is very uncertain.

In any case, the large area of low pressure – the Central American Gyre – will remain in place. Computer models indicate that a second tropical system might spin off later in the week or even further in the future. Computer forecast models indicate that atmospheric conditions will be somewhat conducive for that to happen – bearing in mind that long-range forecast details are always fuzzy.

Whether any possible future system would be related to the remnant of Amanda or some completely different disturbance is impossible to know, and just a technicality anyway.

Do not focus on the details of long-range computer forecast models. The fact that weak and developing systems are statistically more poorly forecast that well-developed storms is amplified here. The seed of the future system may or may not exist even at this point.

If something did develop that could threaten the U.S. coastline, it would likely take a week or more.

Any system that could develop later this week or next week would seem to be confined to the western Gulf of Mexico since a blocking high-pressure system has moved over Florida, and is forecast to remain for a while.

For now, just treat this Area to Watch as a reminder that Hurricane Season 2020 starts Monday.