As we enter the peak of hurricane season (August 15 actually marks that day), it seems fitting that there are two disturbances in the Atlantic. Fortunately, neither seems to be a significant threat to anyone at this point.
The first is the one closest to us. A disturbance over the extreme Western Caribbean, which the National Hurricane Center gave a 70 percent chance of reaching tropical storm strength by the end of the weekend, is decidedly less organized today as it approaches the Yucatan Peninsula. Many of the forecast models now dissipate the disturbance altogether.
At this point, it would be a shock to see it developing into anything beyond a tropical storm if it does survive its encounter with the mountainous Yucatan. Once it does re-emerge in the Gulf, it is possible the upper Texas coast could see some rainfall from the system by the end of the weekend or early next week, but chances are fairly low.
The second area of concern is Tropical Storm Erin, the fifth disturbance of the hurricane season. Erin is WAY out in the Atlantic near the Cape Verde Islands and moving west-northwest. It has become better organized today and is expected to strengthen at least somewhat over the next 48 hours. Unfortunately for Erin, cooler water and significantly drier air are in its path. And it appears that even if it survives its encounter with the less-than-hospitable (for hurricanes, anyway) weather -- and most of the computer models think it will die a quiet death over the water -- it is likely to become a "fish storm," meaning it should pose no threat to any land masses.
Another tropical wave is forecast to come off the African continent after Erin and it appears to have slightly better chances of survival. During the busiest part of the hurricane season, it's a good idea to pay attention because things can change rapidly.
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.