Tropical System Strengthening and Moving Toward Gulf of Mexico
The only thing certain about forecasting tropical weather systems is their uncertainty. Last week we told you that the National Hurricane Center was monitoring three potential trouble spots for tropical development. The good news is that today, there are only two trouble spots. The bad news, one of those trouble spots is showing signs of strengthening. The worse news, it could be headed into the Gulf of Mexico by week's end.
The center of this area of disturbed weather is located less than 400 miles east of the Leeward Islands. It is expected to move in a westward direction over the next several days. That track would bring inclement weather conditions to those islands as well as Puerto Rico, Hispanola, and Cuba.
Forecasters with the National Hurricane Center are giving this system a 50% probability of strengthening into a tropical cyclone over the next two days. Forecasters bump that probability to 60% over the next five days.
Forecast track guidance on the still rather undefined weather system does suggest that it will move into the Gulf of Mexico perhaps by the end of this week. While those long-range tracking models are not entirely accurate the speculation is that for at least the next two or three days the system will track over almost all of the islands that we mentioned earlier in this article.
Dr. Levi Cowan is with the website Tropical Tidbits, he offered this assessment of the tropics in his forecast analysis from last night.
Forecasters with the National Hurricane Center are suggesting that Tropical Storm Warnings could be necessary by later tonight or Tuesday from the Leeward Islands to Hispanola. Of course, those watches and warnings will be influenced by the status of the storm system as it moves to the northwest at about 15 mph.
As of today, there is no imminent threat to the United States coastline or the Louisiana coastline. However, that could and will likely change over the next several days. As always the best plan of action is to have a plan of action should it become necessary.
Should this system reach tropical storm status and earn a name, it would be called Fred. That would make it the sixth named storm of the 2021 Hurricane Season. A season that many forecasters still believe will become very active before it ends on November 30th. In fact, at least one other long-range forecast model the GFS Model puts yet another tropical system in the southern Gulf of Mexico by August 20th.