The National Hurricane Center has increased the likelihood to 50% that a disturbance in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico will become a tropical cyclone before moving inland into Florida and the Southeast United States in the next couple of days. The storm was looking slightly more organized on satellite observations from midday Wednesday. Additional strengthening is likely prior to the center reaching the Florida Panhandle late Thursday night or Friday.
The storm is not expected to produce very strong winds, but it will be a prolific rainmaker as it heads up the Eastern Seaboard. It is the same storm that we are tracking for heavy rain Friday into Saturday in Southeastern New England. If the disturbance does become a tropical storm, it will be called Andrea – the first of the 2013 Atlantic Basin hurricane season.
Hurricane hunter to investigate
A hurricane hunter reconnaissance aircraft is scheduled to fly into the disturbance on Wednesday afternoon. See below from the National Hurricane Center discussion on disturbance 91L.
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL 800 AM EDT WED JUN 5 2013 FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO... 1. A BROAD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE OVER THE CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO IS PRODUCING A LARGE AREA OF DISORGANIZED THUNDERSTORMS AND STRONG GUSTY WINDS OVER THE SOUTHEASTERN GULF OF MEXICO. ALTHOUGH THE THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY ASSOCIATED WITH THE LOW HAS INCREASED OVERNIGHT...THE CIRCULATION REMAINS POORLY-DEFINED. ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS COULD BECOME A LITTLE MORE CONDUCIVE FOR DEVELOPMENT DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO...AND A TROPICAL DEPRESSION OR STORM COULD FORM BEFORE THE SYSTEM MOVES NORTHEASTWARD OVER NORTHERN FLORIDA LATE THURSDAY OR THURSDAY NIGHT. THIS SYSTEM HAS A MEDIUM CHANCE...50 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A SUBTROPICAL OR TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. AN AIR FORCE RESERVE RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT IS SCHEDULED TO INVESTIGATE THIS DISTURBANCE THIS AFTERNOON...IF NECESSARY. REGARDLESS OF DEVELOPMENT...LOCALLY HEAVY RAINS AND GUSTY WINDS ARE LIKELY OVER PORTIONS OF CENTRAL AND WESTERN CUBA...THE FLORIDA KEYS...AND THE FLORIDA PENINSULA DURING THE COUPLE OF DAYS. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS SYSTEM CAN BE FOUND IN HIGH SEAS FORECASTS ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE...AND IN PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE OR NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE. ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. && HIGH SEAS FORECASTS ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CAN BE FOUND UNDER AWIPS HEADER NFDHSFAT1 AND WMO HEADER FZNT01 KWBC. $$ FORECASTER BROWN NNNN