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Two tropical systems target the Gulf of Mexico

1 year 3 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, August 20 2020 Aug 20, 2020 August 20, 2020 6:08 PM August 20, 2020 in Weather
Source: WBRZ Weather

Expect seasonable to quiet weather through Saturday. Sunday and beyond, all eyes will be on a pair of tropical systems.  

Click HERE for the latest forecast information this weekend.


You may find it unusual for two tropical systems to be in the Gulf at one time, as is currently forecast. You are correct! Meteorologist Jake Dalton detailed the history of this scenario and how these two systems could interact, HERE.


A large area of showers and thunderstorms near the west coast of Africa, is associated with a vigorous tropical wave. Environmental conditions allow a 50 percent chance of formation over the next 5 days as the wave enters the eastern Atlantic. Conditions are less favorable for additional development after that.

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The Next 24 Hours: Skies will be mostly clear overnight and the slightly drier air will allow low temperatures into the low 70s and possibly upper 60s. Dry air overhead on Friday will cut in to the number of showers and thunderstorms that can develop. Only about 10 to 20 percent of the forecast area will receive rain with otherwise mostly sunny skies and highs near 90.

The Long Term Trend: Saturday will continue primarily dry conditions. By Sunday, moisture related to tropical depression fourteen will begin to surge into the region. This will make it feel stickier and allow scattered to widespread showers and thunderstorms to breakout through Monday. Rain could be heavy at times. Tuesday and Wednesday, weather will be dictated by what occurs with tropical depression thirteen. If the current forecast holds, it will remain east near the Florida Panhandle and the local area will have near average weather.

The Explanation: Even though an upper level trough will leave plenty of instability over the region through Friday, drier air is expected to feed into the trough thereby cutting down on the number of showers and thunderstorms through Saturday. Translating the dry air down to the surface, temperatures will be near average with lows in the low 70s and highs in the low 90s with minimal heat index. A feed of deep tropical moisture will enter the region by Sunday. This is measured by what is called “precipitable water” and while 1.87 is the normal amount for this time of year, numbers will be closer to the record of 2.47 through early next week. A ridge of high pressure over the southwest Atlantic will likely drive what is currently tropical depression fourteen on a northwest track through the Gulf. Regardless of exactly where the storm’s center comes inland, the local area is likely to be on the rainy east side. Expect scattered to widespread rain late Sunday through Monday with details becoming clearer if and when fourteen gets better organized. There is greater confidence in the path of tropical depression thirteen. This system is expected to emerge in the eastern Gulf off the west coast of Florida on Monday as a tropical storm or hurricane. At the very least, it will allow moisture to stay in place and be sufficient to produce scattered showers and thunderstorms through the middle of next week. If the path of this system changes then the forecast could dramatically change as well.

--Josh

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