During the next 2 to 3 weeks we will be in the heart of the Atlantic hurricane season. Data and model guidance is suggesting we could see a burst of 2 to 3 storms over the next three weeks. We are also tracking Hurricane Cristobal which will track towards the open waters of the Atlantic. It could become a hurricane in a few days, but it will not affect the US East Coast.
We would like to now highlight the potential threats during the next 2 to 3 weeks.
This Week: As Hurricane Cristobal moves NE away from the United States, a frontal boundary will be lingering in the north portions of the Gulf of Mexico. There is a complex of thunderstorms that is beginning to build today in the northern Gulf of Mexico and they are associated with a frontal boundary. Some of the latest model guidance is hinting that an area of low pressure may form over the next 2 to 3 days somewhere in the western Gulf of Mexico. Tropical storms have formed before in the Gulf from a cluster of thunderstorms in relation to a frontal boundary (Alicia 1983/Humberto 2007). The pattern is favorable in the Gulf of Mexico for something to try to spin up mid-late week. If something did form, the general steering track would be towards the Texas coast. We are not forecasting a tropical storm or hurricane to form, but we will be watching the western Gulf very closely this week. Residents and interests along the Texas coast should pay extra close attention to the Gulf this week.
Next Week: We are tracking a tropical wave in the central Atlantic which has been tagged as Invest 97L. While the system is not impressive at the moment, conditions may become favorable in a few days as a nears the Eastern Caribbean Sea. The National Hurricane Center is currently giving this wave a medium chance of development over the next five days. What is a little concerning about this system, is that most of the model guidance forecasts high-pressure building over the western Atlantic as the system is moving into the area. If this were to verify, the system would easily be able to threaten portions of the Caribbean or possibly even the southeastern United States. As a result, we will be watching this system and the upper air charts very closely. You can view all of the data for this wave (Invest 97L) in the Current Storms section of the app.
Week After Next: Satellite imagery currently shows two very strong tropical waves over Africa. Models are showing the potential of any of these two systems developing pretty quickly once they reach the Atlantic Ocean. The eastern Atlantic Ocean is much more moist than it has been over the last couple of weeks. The Saharan air layer which brings dust from Africa has significantly weakened as well. The heart of hurricane season 2014 is shaping up to be more active than last year.
It is nearly impossible to forecast if anything will develop in the Gulf, or any other part of the Atlantic over the next 1 to 3 weeks. However, we are seeing signs that we may see a burst in activity over the next few weeks. Now would be a good time to make sure you have hurricane plans in place in case there are threats down the road. It's never too early to make sure you are prepared. Stay tuned to the Hurricane Tracker App as we will update you as conditions change.