Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Potential tropical system takes aim on parched Texas

A strong tropical wave, which later this afternoon could become Tropical Depression 4 or Tropical Storm Don, is beginning to swirl just off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, near Cancun.  The graphic below shows the computer model forecasts for potential tracks of the storm.  As you can see, it appears that Texas could be the recipient of Don's much-needed rainfall.

Computer model forecasts for the low pressure area that will likely become Don
Texas would be a good place for Don as the graphics below show. The south-central U.S. is VERY dry, with soil moisture over 100 mm (4 in) below normal and an "exceptional drought" in place across much of the region. A land-falling tropical system is about the only phenomena that can provide some significant relief at this point.

As a reminder, it's been 3 years (Ike in 2008) since the United States experienced a land-falling hurricane and 6 years since the last major hurricane to make landfall (the infamous 2005 season).  While what will become Don may reach hurricane status, it is too hard to determine at this time if that will occur.  In any case, the people of Texas must be anxiously watching the Gulf for some welcome drought relief!

It is also to soon to say what, if any, effects this system may have on Mid-South weather. Stay tuned to for possible impacts as we near the weekend.

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