19 June 2016

Tropical Depression Four forms in Bay of Campeche

The disturbance that I mentioned yesterday was upgraded to TD4 on Sunday afternoon based on data from the aircraft reconnaissance mission.  In the satellite image below, the approximate center of the surface circulation is marked with a red X... the tropical cyclone is still poorly organized and centered in the Bay of Campeche (which is in the extreme southern Gulf of Mexico).

It has tracked toward the W-WNW as expected, and will reach the Mexican coast on Monday, perhaps as a tropical storm.  However, given the current appearance and the lack of time before landfall, it could very well never make it beyond a depression.  Tropical storm warnings are posted for the section of the coast that could be affected by tropical storm conditions should it intensify.

If named, it would be Danielle, and would also break the record for earliest formation of the fourth tropical storm.

18 June 2016

Tropical disturbance brewing in southern Gulf of Mexico

Over the past few days, an area of disturbed weather has made its way from the central Caribbean, across the Yucatan peninsula, and is now over the southern Gulf of Mexico.

It is still disorganized, but could congeal into a tropical cyclone within the next couple of days.  A reconnaissance aircraft is currently scheduled to fly into it on Sunday if it continues to look suspicious.  The water temperatures in the western Gulf are very warm (see below) -- more than enough to sustain any amount of development, but for now, it's battling some vertical wind shear.  That shear probably won't relax too much until it's close to land.

Models are in excellent agreement on a WNW track, bringing it to the Mexican coast near Tampico on Monday, probably as a weak storm, but loaded with the potential for heavy rain.

If upgraded, this would become Tropical Depression Four, or even Tropical Storm Danielle.  And if it actually does manage to intensify to a tropical storm before it reaches Mexico, it would be the earliest fourth tropical storm on record, beating Debby 2012 (June 23) and Dennis 2005 (July 5).  Recall that Colin recently just broke the record for earliest third tropical storm formation!

Using a climatology of the past 50 years (1966-2015), the average date of 4th named storm formation is August 24th!

07 June 2016

Colin made landfall near Cedar Key, now heading out to sea

Colin is currently centered off the North Carolina coast, but is barely clinging to tropical cyclone status... my update for today is available on the Capital Weather Gang blog:

Colin made landfall near Cedar Key, now heading out to sea