The third week of June is becoming active in both the Eastern Pacific as well as the Western Gulf of Mexico.
In the Eastern Pacific, at 8 am PDT Carlos had weakened to a strong Tropical Storm with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph. The weakening was due to some drier air working into the storm as well as slightly cooler sea surface temperatures. However, as the storm moves across warmer waters, the National Hurricane Center is forecasting Carlos to restrengthen to a Category 1 Hurricane. Carlos is expected to move in northwest today and Monday and then curve to the north before coming onshore in Mexico on Tuesday.
There is uncertainty in the track forecast for Carlos however. Several of the longer range of the hurricane models are pointing that the storm will maintain the westerly/northwesterly motion and not come onshore.
From a US perspective, if Carlos does move north, it will bring very moist air into the Four Corners Region later this week, which could lead to heavy rain and localized flooding.
In addition to the Eastern Pacific, we are closely watching a system that is moving across the Yucatan Peninsula. The Satellite Loop of Water Vapor below shows the cluster of storms (referred to as 91L) which has the potential to develop into a more organized system as the cluster moves into the Western Gulf of Mexico.
The blue and yellow indicate areas of dryer air moving in on the western side of the complex, while the green and bright white depict regions of high moisture levels. Because of the dryer air on the west side, there is some uncertainty on the potential of this system organizing into a tropical system. The National Hurricane Center indicated a 70% possibility of this system becoming more organized over the next couple of days.
Some of the hurricane intensity models show that the storm will strengthen to Tropical Storm strength, which is 39 mph or 34 knots. However several models indicate that the strength will remain below tropical storm strength.
The solutions that go above the green line indicated that the storm will strength to Tropical Storm levels. But the solutions that remain in the white area highlight sub-tropical storm strength and organization.
While there is uncertainty in the strengthening of this system, confidence is fairly consistent that this system will impact the Texas or Louisiana coast midweek. The graphic below shows the models solutions for the movement. Most of the models track the complex northwest toward Texas Coast.
While it may seem a early in the season for tropical development, it is actually not uncommon for Texas to experience tropical systems in June. In looking at the historical hurricane record which dates to the 1850’s, 19 storms have impacted a 150 mile radius region of Houston, TX. Most of the storms were weaker, categorized as Tropical Depressions or Tropical storms as show by the blue and green tracks respectively. However there were a few hurricanes. One interesting note is most of the storms developed in the Western Gulf of Mexico.
Looking into the later part of the week for the Southern Plains States, once the system moves onshore, it will continue to push north across Texas and Oklahoma and then curve northeast into Arkansas. This track is concerning from a flood threat given the recent heavy rains in May. The soils in this area are still wet, while reservoirs and rivers are above normal with several still in flood. So the additional tropical rainfall could lead to further flooding.
The team at WxIntegrations urge individuals with interests in the Four Corners, the Gulf of Mexico and the Southern Plains to remain aware of the potential of impacts from Carlos as well as the complex moving into the Western Gulf of Mexico. Even Tropical Storms cause challenges with shipping and platform operations in the Gulf of Mexico, while tropical storm and tropical depressions commonly cause heavy rainfall and localized flash flooding. Our goal is provide you the information and resources to help you better understand and prepare for the forecast weather through incorporating weather impacts into your planning and response.