I Am Becoming More Confident That Tropical Development Will Occur In The Northwest Caribbean Or Southern Gulf Of Mexico As Early As Next Weekend
Rob Lightbown of Crown Weather Services
Saturday, June 9, 2012 9:24 am
A good majority of the forecast guidance is now pointing towards tropical development to occur in the far northwestern Caribbean sometime next weekend and for this tropical system to track northward across the Gulf of Mexico shortly thereafter. With such strong model agreement and consistency, my confidence is growing that we will have the development of Tropical Storm Chris by sometime next weekend.
Looking over each individual model member: The GFS model continues to be consistent in that low pressure will develop over Central America sometime on Friday and track into the northwestern Caribbean late next weekend and slowly strengthens before tracking northward into the Gulf of Mexico by June 19th and 20th.
The European model forecasts that a tropical system will form very near the northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula next Sunday and track just north of the Bay of Campeche by about June 18th. The forecast upper-level pattern in about 10-12 days from now would support a track towards the upper Texas coast or southwestern Louisiana by around June 21st. Considering the fact that the European model is now very consistent in the forecast development of a tropical cyclone I am more confident that we will have tropical development in the northwest Caribbean/southern Gulf of Mexico region sometime next weekend.
European Model Forecast For June 13th:
The experimental FIM model forecasts the development of a tropical system in the Gulf of Honduras by next Sunday and that this tropical storm will track through the Yucatan Channel by June 19th and track northward right towards the northern Gulf states by about June 20th.
For the next 5 days or so, I am pretty confident in saying that tropical cyclone development is not expected anywhere in the Atlantic, Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico. Starting as early as Friday, June 15th, I think that we will see a tropical disturbance take hold somewhere between the northwestern Caribbean and the Yucatan Channel. I am forecasting that this disturbance will track into the southern Gulf of Mexico next weekend and become our third named storm of the 2012 Hurricane Season, Chris. A track north-northwestward towards the northwestern or northern Gulf states seems possible based on the forecast upper-level pattern during the week of June 18th.
This increasing confidence of tropical development next weekend is backed up by the fact that the Madden Julian Oscillation is forecast to be in an upward motion phase as the Atlantic during the period of June 18th and June 23rd. Additionally, the overall global forecast guidance is showing that a strong ridge of high pressure will develop from the Great Lakes into Hudson Bay by next weekend and into the following week. This type of setup leads to lowering barometric pressures over the Gulf of Mexico and western Caribbean and a lot of times a tropical cyclone pops out of this pattern.
So, based on everything I have looked at I think the Gulf of Mexico and far northwestern Caribbean has a pretty decent chance of seeing tropical development as early as next weekend and continuing into the week of June 18th.
Needless to say, I am keeping very close tabs on this possibility and I will keep you all updated on the latest.
The next tropical weather discussion will be issued by 7 am EDT/6 am CDT Monday morning.