Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.
By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:33 PM GMT on July 01, 2006
An area of disturbed weather continues in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, southeast of Texas. The thunderstorm activity has little organization, and strong upper-level winds from the west are creating 20-30 knots of wind shear over the system. High wind shear will continue over the Gulf the next few days, making it very unlikely for this this system to develop. The disturbance will move slowly northwest and being welcome heavy rains to South Texas and Northeast Mexico. Extreme drought conditions prevail there.
Figure 1. Total precipitation over South Texas from the Gulf of Mexico tropical wave.
Elsewhere in the tropics, there is nothing of note happening.
Space Shuttle launch weather
The weather for today's 3:49 pm EDT launch of the Space Shuttle will probably be OK at the launch site, since an easterly sea breeze is expected to push today's thunderstorm activity inland. However, upper level westerly winds may carry the upper "anvil" portion of any thunderstorms that might develop west of the launch site back east over the Shuttle, creating high clouds that the shuttle cannot fly through. I give the Shuttle a 60% chance of good enough weather to fly today. Go, Discovery!
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