TROPICS UPDATE: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2019
THE TROPICAL DISTURBANCE IN THE WESTERN GULF IS CLOSE TO BEING ORGANIZED ENOUGH TO BECOME A TROPICAL DEPRESSION, OR THERE A SLIGHT CHANCE IT COULD BECOME TROPICAL STORM OLGA. IT WILL LIKELY ONLY LIVE A FEW HOURS, HOWEVER, BEFORE IT MERGES WITH A COLD FRONT THAT’S NOT FAR AWAY.
The small window of opportunity for the disturbance to organize will likely close later today. A bubble of favorable atmospheric conditions is over the southwestern Gulf, but the steering currents are lifting the disturbance north where it will encounter a strong cold front pushing off the Texas coast, along with strong and hostile upper-level winds.
The difference between a disturbance and a depression is the organization of the circulation. Once the sun comes up over the system, the National Hurricane Center will have a good satellite view of the disturbance, and will be able to determine if the criteria for a depression are met.
The winds associated with the front as it approaches the disturbance are forecast to be above 40 mph. If the NHC determines that those winds are related to the tropical system and not just the front, the system will jump right to Tropical Storm Olga. By this afternoon or evening, it appears that any opportunity for the tropical system to further develop will be over.
The tropical system and its moisture are expected to combine with the front to produce heavy rain in Louisiana and Mississippi, pushing north into the Mid-South and Midwest. That outcome doesn’t change whether the disturbance organizes or not.
The Texas cold front will move toward Florida, but not make it. A high-pressure system over Florida and the Bahamas is continuing to block fronts from pushing through Florida. The consensus of the computer forecast models is this the pattern won’t change in any significant way through next week.
Elsewhere, there is an area of disturbed weather on the other side of the Atlantic near the Azores Islands off Portugal. It has a slight chance to develop over the next few days.