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

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

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.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.