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The Gulf of Mexico will really need to be watched closely for TD next week

avn-lFriday, May 31, 2013 5:19 am by Rob Lightbown, Crown Weather Services

The Gulf of Mexico will be the place to really watch next week for potential tropical development as pretty much all of this morning’s guidance points to a tropical storm developing next week and tracking somewhere between New Orleans and Tampa.

Barbara, which I mentioned quite a bit yesterday, fell apart rather rapidly during the day yesterday and has lost its circulation. With that said, the remnant energy from this storm is expected to hang around as a trough of low pressure through this weekend and into next week over the Bay of Campeche and this, I think, will be the focus point for any tropical development later next week.

Satellite imagery early this morning showed quite a bit of shower and thunderstorm activity extending from the western Caribbean into the Bay of Campeche. This is in connection with the energy from Barbara interacting with a developing monsoonal pattern. All of the guidance, including the GFS, European and Canadian model guidance seem to point to an area of low pressure developing in the Bay of Campeche by about Monday and then gradually intensifying and possibly becoming a tropical storm as we get into Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. The guidance, which is actually supported by my analysis of the expected weather pattern next week, seems to agree that this potential tropical storm would be pulled northward across the Gulf of Mexico with a potential landfall somewhere across the central or eastern US Gulf Coast next weekend.

The GFS model guidance is the weakest and hints at a tropical depression or weak tropical storm coming ashore very near Cedar Key, Florida next Saturday. The European model guidance shows a moderately strong tropical storm coming ashore in southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi next Saturday. Finally, the Canadian model guidance points to a landfall in the Florida Panhandle as a strong tropical storm or a borderline hurricane next Friday.

As I have mentioned previously, two storms come to mind which seems to be somewhat similar given the forecast weather pattern next week. Those two storms are Allison in 1995 and Arlene in 2005. I think given the favorable setup for potential development next week, this is something that will need to be watched very closely. Nevertheless, this monsoonal weather pattern means that heavy rain will be a threat across central America, much of the western Caribbean, Florida and the Bahamas. Now, should a tropical depression or tropical storm track into the eastern Gulf of Mexico later next week, then the heavy rainfall threat would only be enhanced across Florida as this would likely be a east-weighted storm; meaning the heavy rainfall and gusty winds would primarily be on the eastern side of this system. That heavy rainfall threat would then potentially spread northward into the southeastern United States by later next weekend.

Last, but certainly not least, the hard work and programming on the new Crown Weather Plus subscription site are just about complete and I hope to have it rolled out live to all of you either this afternoon or this evening. When this happens, an announcement will be sent out notifying you of the new site and how to subscribe. I am super excited about this new site and am looking forward to it going live. One caveat, it is possible that this could be delayed until Monday if we are not able to get the final touches and bugs worked out today. So, definitely, stay tuned for the upcoming announcement of the roll out of Crown Weather Plus.

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