TROPICS UPDATE: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2019
THE TROPICAL DISTURBANCE IN THE GULF IS LIKELY TO DEVELOP INTO A STORM NAMED NESTOR LATER TODAY OR TONIGHT. IT WILL HEAD TOWARD THE NORTHERN GULF COAST.
The DEVELOPING STORM in the extreme southwestern Gulf of Mexico is producing some gusty thunderstorms. The upper-level winds are reasonably conducive for a depression or storm to form.
A dip is the jet stream will come along and propel the system north later today, toward the northern Gulf coast.
The computer forecast models indicate that there is a small window of time that the system can organize with a kick from the jet stream dip. Systems that develop with the help of the jet stream often start out as subtropical depressions or storms because there is cold air aloft involved, in addition to the energy from the warm water of the Gulf. The distinction isn’t important to the final weather that people along the northern Gulf coast will experience.
The upper-level winds are forecast to be very hostile when the system arrives at the northern Gulf coast early in the weekend, so it’s not expected to be terribly strong. Still, with top winds at 40 mph or a bit higher, it may well start out as Tropical Storm or Subtropical Storm Nestor.
The main effects will be heavy, gusty rainstorms from about the New Orleans area east to North Florida and elevated tides along the coast in the same area. A good part of the South is experiencing an extreme drought, so the rain will be beneficial – up to a point, of course.
As always, forecasts for developing systems are less certain than for well-organized tropical storms or hurricanes, so changes are certainly possible. With the strong upper-winds likely, however, no big storm is expected.
In any case, the only effect in South Florida will be to help keep any fall cold fronts away.