'Potential disaster in the making,' forecasters eye major threat in the Gulf

·3 min read
'Potential disaster in the making,' forecasters eye major threat in the Gulf
'Potential disaster in the making,' forecasters eye major threat in the Gulf

The peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is fast approaching, and the basin is wasting no time in conjuring up multiple tropical disturbances that threaten the next week ahead.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, with the crest of it occurring on Sept. 10.

This week, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) is closely monitoring three disturbances in the Atlantic Ocean that have the possibility of further tropical enhancement over the coming days.

HurrPeak
HurrPeak

Of particular concern is now Tropical Depression Nine (TD9), which is forecast to become Hurricane Ida later in the week.

"This is a potential disaster in the making for the Gulf of Mexico," says Tyler Hamilton, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

"We have increased confidence that the Yucatán Peninsula is not going to disrupt this system. By the time it emerges into the Gulf of Mexico, there [are] a lot of factors at play here, including sea-surface temperatures in the low 30s," says Hamilton. "This is a worst-case scenario to get an intensifying hurricane as it approaches the Gulf states."

THREE SYSTEMS FORECASTERS ARE MONITORING

Tropical storm conditions are likely in portions of the Cayman Islands and western Cuba with TD9 through Friday, with life-threatening heavy rains, flash flooding and mudslides expected across Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, western Cuba and northeastern portions of the Yucatan Peninsula.

"This system is forecast to approach the northern Gulf Coast at or near major hurricane intensity on Sunday, although the forecast uncertainty is larger than usual since the system is just forming," said the NHC in Thursday morning's update.

This system could bring dangerous and life-threatening impacts from storm surge, wind, and heavy rainfall to portions of the coasts of Louisiana, Texas, and the Mexican state of Tamaulipas late this weekend and early next week. Interests in these areas should closely monitor the progress of this system and ensure they have their hurricane plan in place.

TD9 Track
TD9 Track

The second area of concern is a broad trough of low pressure, which is producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms over the central tropical Atlantic about 1,046 km east-southeast of Bermuda. Only slow development of this system is expected during the next day or so due to unfavourable upper-level winds. Afterwards, environmental conditions are forecast to become more conducive for development, and a tropical depression is likely to form late this week or this weekend while the system turns eastward over the central Atlantic. Formation chance through 48 hours is medium (40 per cent). Formation chance through five days is high (70 per cent).

Finally, A tropical wave over the far eastern tropical Atlantic located several hundred km west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands is producing a disorganized area of showers and thunderstorms. Some development of this system is possible over the next several days while it moves west-northwestward at 16-24 km/h over the eastern tropical Atlantic. Upper-level winds are forecast to become less conducive for development by early next week. Formation chance through 48 hours is medium (40 per cent). Formation chance through five days is medium (40 per cent).

Stay tuned to The Weather Network as we continue to monitor and update the progress of these Atlantic disturbances.

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