Four active systems under way
General overview Wednesday 27th August 2014
Disturbance twenty two became a little better organised overnight and aerial footage shows some circulation. This is currently centred 130 miles east-sou'east of Corpus Christi and running parallel to the coast at about 5 knots. Showers and thunderstorms have started to fire up to the north of the disturbance with heavy downpours along the coast, and squalls offshore are being reported with gusts of up to 50 knots. The jury is divided over its development. It may yet deepen further and reach weak tropical storm status but the majority view is that this will remain a tropical depression before making a landfall in the next 12 to 24 hours. Squalls are likely to cause locally heavy rains today in the area of the offshore leases and along the coast through Thursday night and possibly into Friday. Localised flooding is also possible.
Hurricane CRISTOBAL is now 320 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras moving north-nor'west at 10 knots with observed wind speeds of between 75 and 95 knots, which is a very respectable blow. The current HSI is 12 (7 size / 5 intensity) with some increase expected to 15 (9 size / 6 intensity) in around 24 hours, and a wide windfield of tropical storm force as far as 250 miles from the centre. Winds are expected to still be of hurricane force when Cristobal passes southeast of Newfoundland on Friday. Although CRISTOBAL is expected to become extratropical at about the same time it makes its closest approach to south eastern Newfoundland, it will still have hurricane force winds at that time.
Chattering modellers were talking up a new system developing in the south western Caribbean last week and it now appears this will grow from the outfield of open wave disturbance twenty one. Twenty one is about a day east of the Lesser Antilles and worth a punt. As this moves west at 18 knots, it will enter the Caribbean at a time of fertile conditions. This joint venture between the inbound disturbance twenty one and the new cell from the south west is expected to move westward through the Caribbean, and move into the southern Gulf of Mexico on Sunday or Monday, perhaps as a tropical storm. The Gulf of Mexico is not out of the question.
Disturbance twenty three is a strong tropical wave inland over west Africa shaping up to launch on Friday. Conditions are perfect for this to quickly develop into a tropical storm. Peaking early often results in a turn northward prior to reaching the Caribbean, however there is a slight chance that it could continue westward towards the Caribbean if it remains a weak system. Any impacts in the Caribbean wouldn't occur until Thursday or Friday of next week.
Raincoats along the Texas coast, otherwise stand easy.