Disturbance thirty three set to strengthen and enter Gulf of Mexico
General overview 1600z 13th August 2013
One or two addresses have remarked that the season seems to be rather late in starting. As I explained yesterday, this is about to change but in any event, we checked this with a weather specialist who advises - surprisingly - that the average number of named storms by the end of August is five. Since we are in sight of ERIN, it would seem that this is not an unusual season thus far.
Disturbance thirty-three is now clearly showing some respectable surface circulation and cloud patterns indicate that vertical convection is taking place. The centre is situated just to the south of Grand Cayman and making 10 knots towards the west-nor'west. The smart money is still on a sharp right after transiting the Yucatan channel and a course set for the Florida panhandle. The EU model alone is still firmly fixed on a turn to the west into the Bay of Campeche. This is starting to make sense, albeit still not the bookie's favourite. Much depends on where strengthening will take place. If the system does not deepen until it is close to the Yucatan peninsular, then it will go north and east. If it strengthens further to the south, that is in the next 24 hours or so, then it will follow the EU track into the south-west Gulf of Mexico. There seems no doubt now this will develop into a tropical storm, however cooler water and upper level shear over the north east Gulf will see that this remains a weak one.
As expected, disturbance thirty two is losing the battle against dry air somewhere around 700 miles east of the Leeward Islands. There is very little cloud cover indicating no moisture, without which this will dissipate.
Disturbance thirty four left the African coast yesterday and is enjoying rich moist air already and is already showing signs of circulation as it heads west. This is rather early to predict with any confidence, but unless this drifts to the north of track into the sand belt, this could develop.