Tropical Storm Earl
was clinging to tropical storm status on Friday morning, as its center skirted the southern coast of the Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche. Earl is still a major rainfall threat, but so far the torrential destructive rains that were feared from the storm have not materialized. Twenty-four hour rainfall amounts in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula ending at 8 am EDT August 4 were less than three inches, according to Conagua
, the Mexican weather service. Heavy rains of up to seven inches were measured in Chiapas in the 24 hours ending at 8 am EDT Friday.
Heavy damage to buildings and infrastructure is being reported in Belize, primarily from Earl's winds and storm surge. Earl made landfall near Belize City, Belize as a Category 1 storm with 80 mph winds near 2 am EDT Thursday, August 4, 2016. Most of the weather stations in Earl's path stopped transmitting before the storm's peak winds arrived, but Half Moon Caye, which received a battering from a portion of Earl's northern eyewall, recorded a wind gust of 89 mph at 10:00 pm local time Wednesday. Figure 1.
Floodwaters from Earl's heavy rains collapsed a bridge near the Belize/Guatemala border in Melchor de Mencos, Petén, Guatemala. Photo: CONRED (Guatemala civil defense agency), via Norman Avila.Figure 2.
VIIRS image of Tropical Storm Earl approaching landfall in Belize on Wednesday afternoon, August 3, 2016. Image credit: NOAA Satellites on Twitter.Earl's rains continueSatellite loops
and radar imagery from Mexico
on Friday morning showed Earl was still generating heavy thunderstorms over portions of southern Mexico. Earl will continue moving on a mostly westward track at 10 - 15 mph over the next few days, and will likely dissipate by Saturday. Earl's remnants have the potential to merge with an area of disturbed weather and re-organize into a tropical depression over the waters off the Pacific coast of Mexico southwest of Puerto Vallarta in the Monday - Wednesday time frame, though. In their 8 am EDT Friday Eastern Pacific Tropical Weather Outlook,
NHC gave the remnants of Earl 2-day and 5-day development odds of 40% and 70%, respectively. The 00Z Friday run of the European model predicted that Earl's remnants would regenerate into a tropical storm that would bring heavy rains to the southern tip of Mexico's Baja Peninsula on Tuesday and Wednesday.Figure 3.
Predicted precipitation for the 7-day period ending Friday, August 12, 2016. Rainfall amounts in excess of five inches (bright orange colors) are expected along a stretch of the Gulf Coast from New Orleans, Louisiana to Tampa, Florida. Image credit: National Weather Service.Elsewhere in the Atlantic
A broad surface low pressure system is forecast to develop near the coast of Alabama by Sunday, and the counter-clockwise flow of air around this low will bring a moist flow of air over the coast from Alabama to Tampa, resulting in heavy rains. In their 00Z Friday runs, about 40 - 60% of the members of the European and GFS model ensemble forecasts predicted that this low could develop into a tropical depression sometime Monday through Wednesday, and drift slowly northwards or northeastwards--inland over the Southeast U.S. In their 8 am EDT Friday Tropical Weather Outlook,
NHC gave this future disturbance 2-day and 5-day development odds of 0% and 20%, respectively. Regardless of development, coastal regions from New Orleans to Tampa can expect heavy rains exceeding five inches during the coming week, as highlighted in the latest precipitation forecast from NOAA (Figure 3.) Water temperatures in the northeast Gulf of Mexico are at near-record warm levels, and the evaporation from these warm waters will provide plenty of moisture to fuel heavy rains. Tropical storms Ivette and Omais active in the Pacific
The Eastern Pacific continues to be active, with Tropical Storm Ivette
in the Pacific waters southwest of the Mexican coast. Ivette will be moving away from the Mexican coast on a west to west-northwest track, and is expected to find less favorable atmospheric conditions over the weekend, dying out well before reaching Hawaii.
In the Northwest Pacific, Tropical Storm Omais
formed on Thursday, and is expected to intensify into a Category 1 typhoon this weekend as it moves northwards a few hundred miles east of Japan. Omais is not expected to affect any land areas as a tropical cyclone.
Bob Henson will be back this afternoon with a post on the long-range Atlantic hurricane season outlook.