Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Tropical Connection May Enhance Late Week Rains

We've been keeping an eye on this tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico for the past few days as it slowly attempts to organize into a more substantial area of low pressure. This feature will be a player in the weather in the Southeast and probably along the East Coast over the coming days as it lifts north and northeast.

Early season systems like this one don't often become substantial in strength - often they are more rain producing systems that can bring some wind to the table or a hybrid type storm that show some tropical and nontropical characteristics.  In the case of this system, wind shouldn't be a tremendous issue for anyone and it's just as possible the storm does not officially become a tropical storm or subtropical storm before it reaches Florida. If it does, winds probably cap out in the 50-60 mph max range in gusts offshore.

Given it will track partly over land, if it does get declared a tropical system it probably won't be a tropical storm at this latitude.

However, because it is poised to track north and northeast, the moisture from this system will pull northeast up the East Coast in response to a trough that will dig down into the Midwest and gradually work east, bringing a cold front to our part of the world on Friday.  Given the tropical connection that may be at play, the potential does exist for some heavier rainfall around the region later on Friday into Saturday.

How much rain ultimately falls comes down to interaction between this tropical feature and the cold front itself.  If anything, rains could be enhanced as this system's moisture gets pulled northward and northeast up the East Coast.  The "how much rain" equation is still very much up in the air -- modeling does show the potential for quite a bit of it around here on Friday, Friday night, and early Saturday although modeling is also bouncing around with specifics with the timing of the cold front, the pace of the tropical disturbance up the coast, and that interaction.

Some of the rains with this 'mess' could start around here Thursday night as the front approaches from the west but as of now the bulk of the activity for us is centering on Friday into Saturday.

At this point, just know that the potential for heavy rain does exist in the region in the Friday into Saturday timeframe.