We're only several weeks into the Atlantic Hurricane season and we're watching two areas this morning. The USAF Hurricane Hunters already have a recon mission scheduled for tomorrow to examine these tropical waves. They will launch out of St. Croix. X marks the spot on the satellite map. As you can see, one wave is a bit closer to the Gulf of Mexico. Forecast tracks have the other wave heading toward the Gulf. There is much we don't know, but we do know sea-surface temperatures are favorable for further development.
The system just not the south of the Yucatan looks most favorable for development. The broad area of low pressure is expected to drift northward into the Gulf of Mexico. Some forecast models (include the NAM) show this system becoming stronger and likely developing into a depression or possibly even a tropical storm by mid-week. This is output from the NAM for Tuesday. Expect a large shield of rain to possibly impact the Gulf Coast from Panama City to New Orleans. While I'm not expecting any direct impacts for the Florida or Alabama Gulf Coasts, I do think it is likely this area will see a lot of rain Tuesday through Thursday as the system drifts more to the west and northwest. Once the hurricane hunter WC-130 is able to examine the storm, the forecast model data will become much more reliable. The data collected by the aircraft is sent directly to the Tropical Prediction Center in Miami to be ingested into their models
This is a look at a number of tropical forecast models this morning and the solutions they provide. While you can see some divergence on the solution, most models continue to forecast more of a north or northwestward trend with this system.
Sea-Surface temperatures near the Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast still area bit cooler than the Western Gulf of Mexico. Tropical systems tend to migrate toward the highest sea-surface temperatures. You can think of warm water as the fuel for these system. The blue near Alabama and Florida indicates somewhat cooler temperatures. This is certainly an area to watch and will at least have some impacts on the Gulf Coast - most likely in the form of rain. It is possible this system could provide more rain for our area as it tracks inland. We'll keep you posted. Make sure you watch the WBRC First Alert weather app for updates.
WBRC First Alert Chief Meteorologist