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Tropical Depression Six Forms in the Gulf of Mexico

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 9:19 PM GMT on August 25, 2013

The tropical wave that crossed over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and entered the Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche over the weekend has rapidly spun up into Tropical Depression Six, according to surface, satellite, and radar data. Satellite loops show that TD 6 is a small storm, and heavy rainfall will be the main threat. Radar images from Alvarado, Mexico show heavy rain bands from TD 6 are already over land, and the 4 - 8 inches of rain TD 6 will bring to the coast is capable of creating flash flooding and dangerous mud slides. The depression has precious little time to develop before moving inland over Mexico near Veracruz early Monday morning, but with low wind shear, warm waters of 30°C, and the topography of the Southern Gulf of Mexico to help it spin up, TD 6 will probably be Tropical Storm Fernand Sunday night. An Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft will investigate the depression Sunday evening.

Figure 1. MODIS satellite image of Tropical Depression Six as it was organizing, taken at 12:30 pm EDT on August 25, 2013. Image credit: NASA.

I'll have a more detailed look at the tropics on Monday. It looks like it might be knuckle-gnawing time for residents of the Atlantic's hurricane alley next week, as an active pattern moves into place for the climatological peak two-week period of the Atlantic hurricane season.

Jeff Masters


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