|Above: The forecast for 8 pm EDT Monday, June 19, 2017, made by the 6Z (2 am EDT) Monday, June 12 run of the GFS model. The model predicted that an area of low pressure with a central pressure of 1003 mb, possibly classifiable as a tropical depression, would form over the Southern Gulf of Mexico to the west of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Image credit: Tropicaltidbits.com|
Early next week, it will be time to start watching one of the preferred breeding grounds for June Atlantic tropical storms—the Western Caribbean and Southern Gulf of Mexico. Our top three models for predicting tropical cyclone genesis—the GFS, European and UKMET models—have been persistently predicting that an area of low pressure capable of developing into a tropical depression will form near Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula around Sunday, June 18. Formation of this low may be helped out by the arrival of a tropical wave that will enter the Western Caribbean late this week. While the skill of the models to predict tropical cyclone formation so far in advance has not been established, the fact that all three of the models are calling for something to potentially develop is noteworthy, and we should be watching the waters surrounding the Yucatan Peninsula early next week.
With ocean temperatures about 1 – 1.5°C (2 - 3°F) above average, at 29.5° - 30°C (85° – 86°F), along with wind shear that is predicted to be moderate, conditions will be ripe for development--if the area of low pressure manages to center itself over the water. That’s a big “if”, since there is plenty of land in the region to potentially interfere with development. The eventual track any potential storm that might form is uncertain, since steering currents will be weak. The Monday morning ensemble runs of the GFS and European models were showing the primary threat would be to the Gulf of Mexico coasts of Mexico and Texas, though. We will revisit the potential for development in a post later this week, probably on Wednesday.
Tropical Depression Three-E drenches Mexico
In the Eastern Pacific, Tropical Depression Three-E is bringing torrential rains to southeastern Mexico as the storm tracks northwest at 3 mph towards the coast. With moderate wind shear of 15 – 20 knots and interaction with land occurring, the storm has only limited potential to intensify into a tropical storm before its expected landfall on Monday evening. Heavy rains of 5 – 10 inches, with isolated amounts up to 20 inches are the main hazards of the storm.
Bob Henson will be back early this afternoon with a post on today's severe weather threat.