• Bryan Norcross

Good chance the Caribbean disturbance becomes Bonnie while Gulf moisture surges toward Texas

Tropical Disturbance #1, which the National Hurricane Center is officially designating Potential Tropical Cyclone TWO, will move away from South America today and into the southwestern Caribbean. Finally, it will find atmospheric conditions that should support the system organizing into Tropical Storm Bonnie.


The system’s rapid forward speed and track near land has kept it from organizing so far, but those negative factors should end today.



Assuming the system organizes and strengthens as forecast, a strong Tropical Storm Bonnie will make landfall tomorrow in extreme southern Nicaragua or northern Costa Rica. It could reach hurricane strength before coming ashore. The system should have enough organization to survive the trip across that narrow part of Central America so that when it emerges into the Pacific Ocean on Saturday, its circulation will be intact.


If this happens, the storm will continue to be called Bonnie. In the years before 2000, systems that crossed Central America got a new name from the Pacific list of storm names. Before Bonnie, assuming it happens, only Otto in 2016 made the crossing, survived, and kept its Atlantic name in the Pacific.



Disturbance #2 just offshore of South Texas in the Gulf of Mexico is accompanied by very heavy tropical thunderstorms. There is some chance that the thunderstorms might sufficiently wrap around the center of rotation today that the National Hurricane Center will designate the system a tropical depression. But the name is irrelevant to the effects.


Tropical downpours will move over the Texas coast including the Houston metro area tonight into tomorrow. A few to several inches of rain is forecast, which would often be a problem. Coastal Texas has been in a drought condition, however, so the ground can take more water than normal. Still, local flooding is possible in areas that receive 2 -3 inches of rain in an hour, which is possible in these strong thunderstorm cells.


Tropical Disturbance #3 will approach the eastern Caribbean islands tomorrow, reaching Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands Saturday into Sunday. This is a robust system carrying a lot of tropical moisture and gusty winds, but the atmospheric conditions do not appear conducive for it to organize into a tropical depression or tropical storm.


The consensus of the computer forecast models is that the disturbance will remain just a moisture surge as it sweeps through the Caribbean islands over the next few days. On this schedule, it would bring a better chance of rain to South Florida early next week.


Long-range forecasts show hostile atmospheric conditions across most of the tropics. If they’re right, once these current systems are off the board, we’ll have a pause.