Thursday, September 20, 2007

Weather Watchers Waiting

On one hand, there's the National Hurricane Center and Accuweather:

A weak low pressure system moving across Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico could become a tropical cyclone later today.
* * * echoes the NHC's assessment and goes on to say that the system could become a tropical storm by Friday. Accuweather predicts that the resulting storm will affect, "...the central Gulf Coast, possibly somewhere between Apalachiocola and New Orleans, late Friday or early Saturday."

On the other hand, Wunder Blog says:
Since landfall is expected Saturday between the Florida Panhandle and Southeast Louisiana, 93L probably does not have time to become fully tropical. If 93L makes landfall Saturday, it should not have winds stronger than about 55 mph. The GFDL, HWRF, and SHIPS intensity models all keep 93L's winds below 55 mph.

If the storm spends an extra day over water and makes it to Texas, as the ECMWF model predicts, 93L could become fully tropical and make landfall as a strong tropical storm with 60-70 mph winds. However, there is plenty of dry air in the environment, and I don't think the storm will be able to intensify to a strong tropical storm.

The primary threat from 93L will be heavy rain, and the northern Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle to Texas border can expect a soaking from this system.
We're betting on wet, but not wild.

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