I was pleasantly surprised today when I checkout out what’s going on in the tropics. It looks like a tropical wave down in the northwest Caribbean is starting to show some signs of organizing into a weak area of low pressure. Banding is evident on satellite images indicating moisture feeding into the center of an area of low pressure. The low will likely continue on a steady WNW track moving it over the Yucatan Peninsula overnight and early Monday.
Forecast Trac continues to move the area of low pressure across the southern Gulf of Mexico through Tuesday evening. The system, if it can hold together over the Yucatan, may gain some strength and organization before it approaches the eastern coast of Mexico. A strong flow out of the east to the north of the low will push plenty of moisture and rain into the northern Mexican coast and south Texas.
Other computer models are also forecasting a similar track. The European model (pictured on the left) also shows low pressure moving into northern Mexico by Wednesday or early Thursday. Enough moisture should be present with the system to bring heavy rains to portions of the Rio Grande Valley in Texas and maybe to places even farther north in south Texas. Most of the rain however will stay to the south of Houston through Thursday.
It does not look however like the rain from this system will make it in our direction. The same area of high pressure that’s been providing dry and hot weather for much of the south the last several weeks will hold strong. The clockwise flow around this high pressure system will push this tropical low pressure and its rain steadily toward the west. The only folks that will likely see anything from this storm will be south Texas and northern Mexico. Both of these places are experiencing drought conditions much worse than Arkansas so the rain will be much appreciated.
Right now there are no other tropical systems that look like they could bring rain our way anytime soon. This first system however is a clear sign that the tropics are slowly becoming more active. During the summer months it’s the tropics that are the source of Arkansas’s heaviest rainfalls. A sign of increasing activity could mean that we may have more shots at some rain from the tropics in the coming weeks.
–Greg “Weather Dork” Dee