Tropical Storm Likely Southwest Gulf of Mexico later Weekend/Early Next Week

GFS Indicates Potential Hurricane Off Florida Coast Days 11-15
09/09/2021, 3:48 pm EDT
Another Excessive Rainfall/Flash Flooding Episode for Louisiana
09/14/2021, 8:36 am EDT
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A tropical system emerging in the Bay of Campeche is possible over-the-weekend. If so, a northwest turn toward the southern Texas coast is expected. The western Gulf of Mexico water surface is somewhat warmer than normal and could lead to a suddenly rapid intensification of a tropical system.

Fig. 1-2: Two opinions (GFS-left, ECM-right) on a heavy rainfall forecast developing for the next week or so in the western Gulf of Mexico.

Discussion: Hurricane Larry is located 650 miles southwest of Cape Race, Newfoundland moving north-northeastward at 26 miles with top wind 85 mph. Larry is forecast to cross southeast Newfoundland tonight as a minimal hurricane. Tropical disturbances are forecast to form off the West Africa Coast and Bay of Campeche this weekend. Both systems are expected to become tropical storms. One system turns northwestward and strikes southern Texas late Monday night. The system off the West Africa Coast turns northwest while strengthening.

Our focus is on the southwest Gulf of Mexico risk. A large area of rain gathers ahead of the expected tropical system for early next week beginning this weekend and lasting well into next week. The GFS indicates the heavy rains stays offshore (Fig. 1) while ECM takes the heavy rain into eastern Texas (Fig. 2). The bulk of the tropical North Atlantic basin is ALL CLEAR. However, the far eastern tropics and the southwest/west Gulf of Mexico are about to turn active again (Fig. 3).

Please note! Waters in the western Gulf of Mexico are warmer than normal and capable of allowing any passing tropical cyclone to intensify rapidly.

Fig. 3: Weather satellite view of the North Atlantic basin.

Fig. 4: The warmer-than-normal western Gulf of Mexico.