Tropics May Come Alive Again Next Week Near Mexico
As Cristobal loses its tropical characteristics, attention is turning toward the Bay of Campeche for potential development early next week.
A tropical wave moving through the central Caribbean has the potential to become the Atlantic Basin's next tropical depression or storm in the Bay of Campeche, in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, early next week.
The Bay of Campeche is where conditions will become conducive for development as the water is very warm and a zone of lower wind shear will be present. Wind shear refers to belts of winds in the upper levels of the atmosphere that can shred apart tropical systems when strong enough.
The wave is currently encounter such disruptive wind shear and would continue to do so if it takes a more northern track into the western Gulf of Mexico.
The orientation of the Bay of Campeche and how it aligns with the counter-clockwise flow around developing systems have proven to be another contributing factor to tropical development.
"Weak systems that enter this region of the Gulf of Mexico tend to be aided by the curvature of the coast, which helps to spin systems up into tropical depressions or storms," stated AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Rob Miller.
The next tropical storm in the Atlantic Basin will acquire the name "Dolly."
This animated gif shows the tropical wave over the Caribbean. (NOAA/Satellite)
Widespread flooding, damaging winds and rough surf will become more of an issue if the wave develops and strengthens.
Prior to reaching the Bay of Campeche, the wave will bring enhanced showers and thunderstorms to Jamaica Friday night through Saturday and Central America through the weekend. The Cayman Islands and the Yucatan Peninsula will see an increase in the shower and thunderstorm activity as the weekend progresses.
"As with most weak tropical systems, the shower and thunderstorm activity will follow a diurnal pattern with the afternoon and evenings being most active," stated AccuWeather.com Tropical Weather Expert Dan Kottlowski.
Rain and thunderstorms associated with the wave will wet Cancun and Chetumal and southward to Belize City on Sunday. Additional showers and thunderstorms will follow for Monday.
"The next few days are shaping up to be the one of the most active periods so far for places from Honduras to the Yucatan Peninsula," added Kottlowski.
As will be the case across eastern mainland Mexico and South Texas, rain from the wave will generally be viewed as beneficial across Central America and the Yucatan Peninsula.
"Many of these places are experiencing below-normal rainfall this summer," stated Kottlowski.
Since June 1, Belize City has received only 55 percent of its normal 20.15 inches (511.9 millimeters) of rain. That percentage has been held to 37 percent of the 13.29 inches (337.5 millimeters) of rain for Chetumal, Mexico.