From west to east:
Disturbance Seventeen has piped up unexpectedly off the coast of Texas close to the mouth of the Rio Grande already headed ashore. This will bring very heavy rain, up to 8 inches in places with the odd thunderstorm to the lower Texas coast later today and is likely to cause some flooding in isolated areas. Further development is not expected.
Erratic ELSA continues to produce unorthodox characteristics having briefly reached hurricane strength overnight, but partly suppressed by a cocktail of upper level shear and a whack of dry air. ELSA is close to landfall, close to the north of Cedar Key as a tropical storm and is peak now, as far as the Gulf of Mexico is concerned anyway. The storm has a current hurricane severity index rating of 5 (2 for size and 3 for intensity) which translates from measured wind speeds of 55 knots but with strong gusts in squalls of up to 80 knots over a windfield radius of 120 miles. Returning to orthodox characteristics, the worst excesses are to the east sweeping across north-central and north-western Florida. Tornados have already spun off ELSA inland and in addition to strong winds and heavy rain, a considerable storm surge is expected. When agencies describe storm surges as potentially life-threatening, this is a serious risk indeed. Post landfall, ELSA will track to the north-east across Georgia and the Carolinas, diminishing on route. Once seaborne in the Atlantic, warm water and rising air await and tropical storm reintensification with a sweep along the eastern seaboard cannot be dismissed.
Disturbance Fifteen is now passing the Netherlands Antilles moving west at 16 knots. Despite some impressive thunderstorms, upper level shear seems to have the whip hand and development is not expected.
Disturbance Sixteen is now around 650 miles north-east of the mouth of the Amazon headed west at 15 knots. This is also battling upper level shear and is not expected to perform for the time being.
Disturbance Eighteen has slipped the African coast in the last few hours, westbound at 15 knots. This looks to have some vertical convection from aerial imagery, but track, intensity and development are too early to forecast at the moment.
Stand by for tropical storm conditions, very heavy rain and a strong storm surge along the north-western coast of Florida.