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Our first tropical storm of the season?



Today, we’ll see widespread showers and thunderstorms throughout the day. Later on today, some of the storms could put down some heavy downpours and cloud-to-ground lightning. Just be aware of those threats. The storms are not expected to become severe. We dry out for tomorrow and Thursday, and those two days will be the driest days we have for some time. It’s not impossible that we could get a shower or storm on either of those days, but the chance is really slim so I didn’t put anything on the 5-day above.

By Friday, rain chances return with a slug of tropical moisture coming our way. That moisture from the tropics may be from our first tropical storm of the 2018 season.  That is being monitored closely. Regardless of whether or not the system becomes a tropical storm, all models indicate that a lot of moisture will become displaced over our region beginning on Friday and sticking with us through next week, with at least 50% chances of mainly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms each day this weekend and into the first half of next week.

Below is the graphic issued by the National Hurricane Center this morning. The system now has a 40% chance of development, which is up from a 10% chance that it was given yesterday.

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While it is still too early for tropical development, with the hurricane season beginning June 1, Ma Nature may get the party started early, so to speak. The area of disturbed weather is in the Caribbean this morning and it’s looking pretty healthy, albeit disorganized, on satellite this morning. If it can organize and get all that convection to start wrapping around a center, we could certainly see our first tropical storm of the 2018 season in the Gulf of Mexico by the end of this week. All indications are that it will be steered right into the Southeast U.S.

Below is weatherTAP’s water vapor satellite imagery from GOES-16, showing the system of interest in the Caribbean this morning (~8:00 a.m. CDT).


Before this system begins influencing our weather, we’ll see widespread showers and storms today, followed by a couple of hot, dry days. Models have hinted that an isolated shower or storm could develop Wednesday or Thursday across the plateau, but that chance is really slim (<20%).

We got lucky yesterday by being trapped between this system to our west and another system to our south. Nearly all the showers and storms were focused on those two areas, leaving the plateau mostly dry.

I was looking at the tropical system that we have in the Caribbean and thought I’d do some weather investigating. Tropical systems have developed in May before, though they are quite uncommon. If ocean waters continue to warm, however, these systems may become more common earlier on. Warm ocean water is a key ingredient to the development of these systems. This is a map of where other May storms have developed. As you can see, our system in the Caribbean is right where you’d look for development this time of year.


There’s not a “common track” map for May storms but there is for June, and I’d expect May storms to have the same characteristics. Again, our system is right on par for what you’d expect with the track of a system in the Caribbean this time of year.


The map below is an interesting map put together by the National Hurricane Center that basically shows you how many years you have to wait before being impacted by a hurricane. for instance, the red seven near New Orleans means that they might expect a hurricane about every seven years.


I’ll be keeping an eye on this system this week, so if you have any questions just let me know. It’s unfortunate that this system will threaten the Gulf Coast on the first busy summer holiday of the season, but what can you do? Systems that hit during these holidays have a far greater economic impact on these regions than systems that hit any other time.

I’ll have much more on this system as we go through the week.

You all have a great day and stay dry!




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