Hurricane Season 2014: Don't Believe the Hype of the Latest Tropical Disturbance

Invest 97L, currently dropping rain on Florida.
Invest 97L, currently dropping rain on Florida.
Weather Underground

You are likely going to hear quite a bit about a tropical disturbance designated 92L by the National Hurricane Center that is currently dropping a bunch of rain on the Florida peninsula. The reason there will be news about this rainmaker is because forecast models have 92L making its way into the Gulf of Mexico and heading towards Texas sometime middle of next week. Don't believe the hype.

I'm not saying those models are inaccurate. They may very well be. But, there are not any really good reasons at the moment to be overly concerned about 92L. That doesn't mean local weather won't try to scare you into thinking you should be, however.

While forecast models have been trending towards Texas, any disturbance with no center of circulation like 92L is extremely unpredictable. Currently the NHC is giving it a 40 percent chance of developing into a tropical storm within five days, about the time it would likely be threatening our neck of the woods if that happens. The problem is that models have been fluctuating wildly and even have the storm creeping right up to the coast before being driven the opposite direction by an oncoming cool front middle of next week.

More importantly, conditions in the Gulf are not exactly optimal for the development of a storm despite the fact that we just passed the statistical peak of the season. Wind shear ahead of the storm is forecast to be fairly high, which can dramatically limit storm development as Eric Berger, the Chron's weather expert, so adroitly described in his weather update Friday morning.

Additionally, the dry, rather stable air that is slowly beginning to sag into our region courtesy of early fall cool fronts has a negative effect on storm development. Given the level of disorganization of 92L and the hurdles in front of it, we are unlikely to be threatened by this disturbance other than perhaps some rain next week, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

So, relax, enjoy your weekend and ignore the calls of impending doom when they show up, and they most certainly will.


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