September 7, 2012

Latest on the Gulf Disturbance

Low pressure in the Gulf of Mexico remains poorly organized Friday, but it still has a small window to develop. According to Expert Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski, head of the Hurricane Center, the area of disturbed weather in the north-central Gulf of Mexico was struggling with wind shear. Low-level winds were southerly in the region, while upper-level winds were steering thunderstorms toward the southwest, nearly in an opposite direction. "The clock is ticking for tropical development to occur with the feature," Kottlowski said.
Later this weekend, an approaching trough of low pressure and a surface cool front will make for a very hostile environment for a tropical system to survive in the Gulf of Mexico. It is possible that wind shear will decrease enough for a weak circulation to form through Saturday. "The lowest pressure was located just southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, not too far where Isaac cruised last week," Kottlowski said The system is likely to drift toward the southwest the next day or so. Over the weekend, it is possible the system will sense the front and trough of low pressure approaching, so a drift to the east or northeast could occur.
The feature is part of the remnants of Isaac, which was ripped in two over the Central states over the weekend. The system in the Gulf is what is left of Isaac's upper half, while the lower half was strung out as drenching, gusty thunderstorms in the Northeast Tuesday into Wednesday. The southerly flow of tropical air alone will bring spotty, drenching thunderstorms to the Southeast into the weekend.
As the cold front approaches during the weekend, it will enhance the thunderstorms with the potential for locally severe weather and flash flooding. A tropical depression or tropical storm thrown into the mix would further enhance the activity, especially the risk for flash, urban and low-lying area flooding. As a result, folks in Florida should be on the lookout for the weak tropical system's impact this weekend. Any reborn system in the Gulf would "not" get the name Isaac.
By Alex Sosnowski, Expert Senior Meteorologist –

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