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Tropical Wave Bumps into Yucatan Peninsula

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Updated: 8/15/2013 10:39 am
Tropical wave approaching Yucatan... T.D. #5  Becomes "Erin" far E. Atlantic.....

Weak low pressure has developed over the Western/NW Caribbean in association with the tropical wave I've been tracking for days.  Thunderstorms have waxed & waned, & the wave will have to battle to survive due to possible land interaction with the Yucatan + shear over the Northern Gulf.

Forecast models have generally trended farther west with this wave -- W or SW Gulf -- then into Mexico.  This is probably in response to a weaker wave or low pressure system that would be steered by low level wind flow vs. the mid or upper level flow.  If the system can become deeper/stronger then it would likely feel the effects of an upper level trough moving into the Eastern U.S. & turn more north.  The weaker scenario is more likely because of the imminent land interaction.

Either way.... for the First Coast .... my forecast remains unchanged. (I understand that some local forecasters have targeted the First Coast {News} with a tropical storm this weekend [say what??!!]:

** tropical moisture will surge north from the Caribbean leading to the potential for periods of heavy rain Fri.-Sat....& to a somewhat lesser degree Sunday.
** this scenario has little to do with the tropical wave & much more to do with the surge of tropical moisture + a weak approaching cool front + an upper level trough
** total rainfall (including Wed.) could exceed 6" in some places through Sun.
** a few strong to severe storms will occur -- related to the upper trough & not so much the tropical wave

It would seem the threat along the I-10 corridor across the Gulf Coast for a landfalling tropical system this weekend has lessened, but it's still not zero.  And ... even so.... there will still be plenty of heavy rain from the Fl. Panhandle to New Orleans.  If traveling west, keep up to date on the latest forecasts.

Once the wave clears the Yucatan Peninsula -- about late Fri./Fri. night -- we'll have to see what's left of the system in determining its exact future intensity & movement.

"Spaghetti plots" (forecast models) courtesy the S. Fl. Water Management District:

Large areas of dry mid & upper level air (black & rust colored areas on the water vapor satellite image below) remains over the Central Atlantic. Overall conditions remain unsuitable for significant tropical development as shear generally remains high too. There has been moistening over the Eastern Atlantic & some forecast models are indicating tropical development in the far Eastern Atlantic (besides "Erin") during the last 10 days or so of Aug.

Shear is strong over much of the Atlantic Basin -- as can be seen below -- exceeding 30, even 30 knots over large parts of the Caribbean...exceeding 40 knots over the Central Atlantic....& 30+ knots over the Northern Gulf of Mexico....

Tropical depression #5 has become tropical storm "Erin" over the far Eastern Atlantic.  Conditions will be marginal -- dry air at first then a high shear zone -- the farther west "Erin" goes which could cause the cyclone to eventually lose steam.  At this point, it does not look like "Erin" can survive a Transatlantic trip.

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