Tropical Disturbance May Develop off Southeast U.S. Coast by Monday
By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:55 PM GMT on June 27, 2014
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A blow-up of thunderstorms over Texas and Louisiana on Wednesday created an area of low pressure that tracked east-northeast over the Southeast U.S., and was over Georgia and South Carolina on Friday. This low will emerge over the coastal South Carolina waters on Saturday, and move over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream current by Sunday. Sea surface temperature in this region are about 1°C above average, 27 - 28°C, which is plenty of heat energy for a developing tropical cyclone. Wind shear is moderate, 10 - 20 knots, and is forecast to remain moderate through Monday. These conditions favor development, though the 00Z Friday runs of our reliable tropical cyclone genesis models--the GFS, European, and UKMET--did not show development into a tropical depression. The disturbance will be in an area of weak steering currents, and the predominant track favored by the models is a slow south and then southwest movement towards Florida. The latest thinking from NOAA's Weather Prediction Center (Figure 1) is that the disturbance will bring a swath of 2 - 4" of rain from North Carolina to Florida during the coming week. These rainfall totals will be higher if the disturbance develops into a tropical depression. However, the system may not have much time over water before moving ashore over Florida on Monday, if the 00Z and 06Z Friday runs of the GFS model are correct. In their 8 am EDT Friday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave the system 2-day and 5-day odds of development of 0% and 20%, respectively.