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 , 2:39 PM GMT on July 02, 2006
An area of disturbed weather continues in the western Gulf of Mexico, near the Texas/Mexico border. The thunderstorm activity has become better organized this morning, and wind shear has dropped to 10 knots over the region. There are no signs of a surface circulation or the development of upper level outflow, but the disturbance has a good-sized area of heavy thunderstorm activity. Wind shear is forecast to remain below 15 knots through Monday night, which may allow for some continued development. However, the disturbance is very close to land, and will likely move ashore before developing into a tropical depression. South Texas/Northeast Mexico should get a good soaking on Monday, bringing the threat of flash flooding. So far, the rains have been welcome, as the region is under extreme drought.
Figure 1. Long range radar out of Brownsville showing the tropical disturbance of the Gulf of Mexico.
Space Shuttle launch weather
The weather for today's 3:26 pm EDT launch of the Space Shuttle looks bad, as thunderstorms more numerous than yesterday's are starting to pop up across the Florida Peninsula. Yesterday, the Shuttle got very unlucky--there were only two major thunderstorms in central Florida at launch time, and one of them happened to be within 20 miles of the Shuttle.
Figure 2. Satellite photo of Florida weather at launch time Saturday shows the unlucky thunderstorm that forced Discovery to scrub.
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