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  • Writer's pictureBryan Norcross

Some development of the Atlantic system and a very wet scenario for the Gulf coast

The tropical disturbance we have been tracking since it left Africa last Tuesday is showing some signs of organization. It’s about midway to the southernmost Caribbean islands. The consensus of the computer forecast models is that the system will develop into a tropical depression or tropical storm. But it’s not clear whether it will come together before or after it reaches the islands.

The National Hurricane Center has upgraded its chance of development to the likely category.

The disturbance’s track is unusually far south, meaning it might affect Trinidad and Tobago followed by Curaçao, Bonaire, and Aruba in the far southern Caribbean Sea. A hurricane passed just north of the ABC islands in the very busy hurricane year of 1933, but that’s the only June storm to come within 100 miles of there in the record book.

That 1933 storm passed directly over Trinidad, and in 2017, Tropical Storm Bret crossed the island as well. Those are the only two known organized systems to have directly affected the southernmost Caribbean islands in June.

In fact, this storm might track so far south that its proximity to the South American coast becomes a deterrent to significant development, though that’s several days down the road.

It appears likely that a strong high-pressure system will keep the system from turning north through this week, no matter whether it organizes or not.

Everybody in the southeastern Caribbean should stay informed. The system is forecast to reach the vicinity of the southern Caribbean islands on Tuesday and be near or just north of the ABC islands on Wednesday.

In the Gulf of Mexico, a very wet scenario is developing, especially for the northwestern and north-central Gulf coast. What’s left of an old front is causing a cluster of strong thunderstorms from southeastern Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle. A new front pushing in from the north will meet up with that already-wet scenario causing a wide area of extended rainfall. Currently, the thinking is that the focus will be from east Texas to extreme western Florida.

There is some chance that a tropical system might develop off the Texas coast out of this broad area of bad weather, perhaps triggered by the thunderstorm cluster already underway south of Alabama and Mississippi.

The National Hurricane Center is giving the system a slight chance of developing at this point, but heavy rain is likely whether it develops or not.

Otherwise, nothing is expected to develop in the Atlantic, the Caribbean, or the Gulf this week.


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