I'm from Hattiesburg, MS and I experienced the worst natural disaster in U.S. history--Hurricane Katrina!
By: MississippiWx, 8:03 PM GMT on June 27, 2007
Western Atlantic Satellite
Observations: July 13 Update
The only thing of note in the tropics as of now is the tropical wave about 1000 miles from the island chain. The wave remains disorganized and is fighting the dry SAL. Wind shear also picks up ahead of the wave, reaching 25-30 kts, which is very unfavorable for tropical cyclone development.
Elsewhere, shear is at least moderately favorable for development, but no disturbances exist to take advantage of the low shear. One area of note is currently over Central America. This area will most likely drift into the Eastern Pacific, though. If a part of this disturbance can break off and move into the NW Caribbean, something could possibly form, but no models hint at this.
About five days down the road, the CMC Model has been and is still persistent on forming a tropical cyclone east of the Bahamas and moving it toward South Florida. The cyclone seems to form from the wave that I mentioned above that is currently east of the islands. I've already mentioned what it would have to fight through first. Because of the hostile conditions ahead of that tropical wave, the CMC is discounted, not to mention that no other reliable models predict tropical cyclone formation.
As far as SSTs go, they continue to warm over the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean as fair weather has been persistent for several weeks. High pressure has been dominant over these areas, which has in turn helped with the heating of the waters because of the lack of activity. The TCHP is currently higher than it was in 2005 at the same time in the places we care about (the Gulf and W Caribbean).
If the CMC turns out to be correct and the storm passes over Florida into the Gulf of Mexico, it will have a tremendous amount of energy available for it. Of course, the chances of this are slim to none, but eventually, a system will make it into this area because of the Bermuda Ridge establishing itself further to the west with time.
The Gulf of Mexico is a ticking time bomb and if the upper level conditions are favorable when a system comes into the Gulf, watch out!
Wind Shear Map:
Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential Map (TCHP):
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.