Monday, June 19, 2017

Early Start to the Hurricane Season

Tropical Storm Bret formed off the east coast of Venezuela Monday afternoon, but isn't expected to strengthen much further than its current state.  According to the National Hurricane Center, an Air Force WC-130 found a well-defined closed circulation - well west of where it was initially thought.  The storm has quickly strengthened, but with its expected landfall near Venezuela and moving into an environment with a little more wind shear, intensification is not expected.  This storm is not expected to have an impact on the United States, but will likely bring quite a bit of rain along the coast of Venezuela and Columbia.

Of greater concern for the United States is Potential Tropical Cyclone 3 forming in the Gulf of Mexico. 

New this year is the option of the National Weather Service to issue advisories, watches and warnings for low pressure systems that have not yet reached tropical storm or hurricane status yet, but could pose a threat to land within 48 hours.  Current forecasts from the National Hurricane Center have Potential Tropical Cyclone 3 reaching Tropical Storm status as early as Tuesday late morning or early afternoon.  The exact track of this system is a little uncertain at the moment, but it's likely to make landfall somewhere along the Gulf coast from near
Galveston, TX to Louisiana.  Biggest threat for these areas along the coast will be heavy rainfall.  Current rainfall forecasts through Thursday evening have nearly five inches of rain, with isolated rainfall totals nearing ten inches!

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