As I mentioned 2 days ago, models were hinting at tropical development in the NE Gulf for early next week. Today NHC is out giving this area a 20% chance of developing during the next 5 days. Local broadcasters repeated the NHC statement during their weathercasts. Let’s dig a little deeper. 1) pressures are NOT falling yet on the offshore buoys. 2) the only sign of a weak rotation is on radar about 100 miles SSW of Apalachicola. 3) steering currents over this weak disturbance are very little meaning any motion will be limited. 4) water temps are very high so there is plenty of fuel for development. 5) computer models do not handle weak systems (Hurricane Isaac 2012) very well. 5) slow moving tropical systems (Trop. Depression Allison) can produce enormous (20-30”) rainfall amounts. 6) All indications RIGHT NOW show the highest flooding potential to be over Georgia where the computers are estimating 15-20” could fall. I suspect something will slowly develop over the next 2-3 days so if you have a trip planned to go east to the beaches or anywhere across south AL. GA. Or FL., keep up with the weather. Don’t cancel anything yet since we don’t have anything but a disorganized area of low pressure. I always hated late August into September since the upper steering pattern usually is weak and the transition to stronger dips in the jet stream bringing Fall fronts hasn’t started.
Dr. Phil Klotzbach (Dr. Gray’s chosen successor) of Colorado State issued his August update yesterday and indicated we should see at least 10 more named storms, 4 of which will become hurricanes. Of those 4, 2 could be Cat. 3 or stronger. Normally, if a tropical system develops near a coastline, it will not have time to become a major storm. Again, the main problem with weaker storms is extremely heavy rainfall. I’ll be hanging out this weekend to see if something tries to develop. The benefit of more clouds and rain would be temps. Less hot. Always look at the glass half full! Stay tuned!