July 8, 2011

Tropical Activity Increasing

We continue to monitor the large area of disturbed weather covering the northern Caribbean into the eastern Gulf of Mexico across Florida into the northern Bahamas.

Surface data shows the surface pressure has dropped slightly during the past 24 hours over the eastern Gulf of Mexico where we see some cyclonic turning in the cloud pattern. A north-south elongated area of low pressure is roughly centered near 26 north, 86 west or roughly 225 miles south of Panama City, Fla. This feature appears to be slowly moving northward.

Extensive showers and thunderstorms across western Cuba and over the Yucatan Channel outlines an upper-level trough.

The weakly organized system will move inland over the Florida Panhandle tonight, after which point the disturbed weather should move over the southeastern U.S. Strong shear over this area created by a higher-level low, mostly around 40,000 feet, over the northwestern Gulf of Mexico will continue to discourage development. This shear is expected to weaken some later today and tonight. If the surface low were to move slower than expected, then there would be a slight chance for development later tonight into early Saturday before the low moves inland.

A tropical wave moving westward along 66 west is also experiencing strong shear from another high-level low located just northwest of Puerto Rico. We see no important support for development with this tropical wave, but it will bring drenching showers and thunderstorms to Puerto Rico today.

Another tropical wave is near 55 west, south of 15 north. This feature remains disorganized and should start to affect the Windward Islands today. Long range computer models have backed off on the idea that this system might support development over the southern Caribbean or southwestern Gulf of Mexico next week.

The strong Bermuda high pressure area will nose strongly into the southeastern U.S. and northern Gulf of Mexico during next week. This will force any potential development too close to land.

A third tropical wave is in the eastern Atlantic near 25 west, bringing some showers to the Cape Verde islands.

By AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Brian Wimer

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