As discussed on Monday, the tropical wave has reached the warm waters of the northwest Caribbean Sea and has entered a more favorable environment for developing into a depression or tropical storm.
In fact, the National Hurricane Center now gives the system a 50 percent chance of developing Wednesday or Thursday, and a 60 percent chance after it moves into the Gulf on Friday.
While a surface low is not readily evident, the satellite images suggest one could be in the process of forming Wednesday.
We’ll be watching for possible storm development in that area later in the day or Thursday. Hurricane hunter flights are scheduled, if needed, for Thursday.
We are facing the same challenging forecast scenario that we looked at Monday, and without a clearly defined center to start with, models still have a number of possible solutions of what and where this will go after Thursday.
At least through Thursday the disturbance should move west-northwest into the Yucatan Peninsula.
Storms don’t like land, so significant development seems unlikely before Friday. Some normally reliable models keep moving the system slowly west northwest across the Bay of Campeche eventually reaching the Mexican Gulf coast or possibly far South Texas.
Other, also reliable, models develop the storm as it enter the Gulf and move it north into the Gulf coast of southeast Louisiana to the Florida panhandle this weekend. How strong of a storm? It’s still too uncertain to say, and the models agree! A few take it to hurricane strength, while a few don’t develop the system at all.
As for those of us in southeast Texas, the steering current through Saturday should keep any Gulf development away from the upper Texas coast.