A well-organized tropical disturbance (93L)
is centered over the northwest coast of Honduras, in association with a tropical wave that is moving west-northwest at 12 mph. The storm is bringing heavy rain to Belize, as seen on Belize radar
, and has produced up to 6 - 8" inches of rain over eastern Nicaragua and Honduras, according to satellite estimates.
The wave's center of circulation will move over water for about 4 - 6 hours this afternoon, before moving ashore over Belize. This may be long enough for 93L to become a tropical depression or tropical storm, as satellite loops
show that the system is well-organized, has plenty of spin, has good upper-level outflow to the north, and has a large of amount of heavy thunderstorm activity that is increasing in intensity and areal converge. Wind shear
is a moderate 15 - 20 knots, and ocean temperatures are warm, 28 - 29°C. NHC is giving
the disturbance a 40% chance of developing into a tropical depression or tropical storm by Wednesday. I put these odds higher, at 60%. The Air Force Hurricane Hunters are on call to investigate 93L Monday afternoon.Figure 1.
Latest satellite image of 93L.
The wave will cross over the Yucatan Peninsula on Monday night and Tuesday, and may emerge into the extreme southern Gulf of Mexico--the Bay of Campeche--on Tuesday night or Wednesday. At that point, the models continue to predict a slow west-northwest motion, bringing the center of 93L ashore into Mexico between Veracruz and Tampico late in the week. Wind shear is expected
to remain moderate through Wednesday. The Bay of Campeche is a region where the topography aids the spin-up of tropical cyclones, so I expect this storm will become a tropical depression or tropical storm if its center moves over water in the Bay of Campeche. The center may remain just inland, though, keeping the storm from developing. There is no indication from the models that this system will affect the U.S., as a strong ridge of high pressure over the U.S. during the coming week should keep the tropical wave trapped in the southern Gulf of Mexico, keeping all the storm's rainfall confined to Mexico.