Tracking the tropics: Track for TD 14 now has Houston on ‘dirty’ side of storm

Tropical Storm Laura also headed for Gulf

Tracking the tropics: Track for TD 14 now has Houston on 'dirty ...

HOUSTON – The KPRC 2 Severe Weather Team is tracking three systems that are moving through the Atlantic Ocean this week. Two of these systems will be in the Gulf of Mexico by Monday morning.

Here’s a look at what we know about each of the systems.

GET ANSWERS: KPRC2 Frank Billingsley and KPRC2 Eric Braate are answering questions about the two tropical systems brewing in the Gulf. If you have a question for them, post it in the comments below. LATEST: https://bit.ly/31fPpb9Posted by KPRC2 / Click2Houston on Friday, 21 August 2020

Tropical Depression 14

Tropical Depression 14, which will get the name Marco once it strengthens, is the storm people in the Houston region should be watching. The forecast track has the storm making landfall Tuesday. The exact intensity of the storm at landfall and the exact landfall location is still uncertain. This uncertainty is clearly represented by the forecast cone. The cone represents where the center of a storm will be 2/3 of the time. Right now, the forecast cone gives a landfall location anywhere between Corpus and western Louisiana! Houston is just north of the forecast track and in the middle of the cone. We very well could have direct impacts from either a tropical storm or a Category 1 hurricane. It is important to have a hurricane plan ready to go in case those plans are needed early next week.

Marco's Path
Marco’s Path

Several things will be coming into line over the weekend and what happens this weekend will greatly impact what we experience or do not experience in Southeast Texas early next week.

Tropical Depression 14 will be moving into very warm water early next week. Water temperatures close to 90 degrees in the Gulf could allow for quick intensification. Thankfully there is a good amount of wind shear, change of wind speed and direction through the atmosphere. Wind shear is like kryptonite for tropical systems ripping apart their vertical structure. The forecast for Tropical Depression 14 could change depending on it’s structural development over the next 24-36 hours, the storm’s interaction with wind shear and it’s interaction with the Yucatan peninsula. With several items still in play it is important to be prepared for a direct impact and be prepared for changes.

KPRC
KPRC

Some of our computer models are starting to come into the agreement that Southeast Texas could be in for direct impacts but again the storm right now is lacking a strong and defined circulation. Changes to the structure of the storm while it is forming can have big impacts on the forecast.

Here’s a comparison of the European and the American models, which show similar scenarios for the Houston area.

Euro vs American
Euro vs American

Tropical Storm Laura

Tropical Depression 13 strengthened into Tropical Storm Laura on Friday morning. It is approaching the eastern Caribbean Sea, and looks to make landfall sometime Wednesday close to the Florida Panhandle as a Category 1 hurricane.

TS Laura
TS Laura

Third system

We now have a third area of interest with a cluster of storms that will be coming off the African coast in the next 24 to 48 hours and should develop fairly quickly. There is a 40% chance of development the next 5 days.

Bottom line

  • We are tracking TD 13 which is likely to become a tropical storm Friday and be in the Gulf as a 75 mph hurricane Monday night. This is the storm forecast to move toward the Florida panhandle but possibly as far west as New Orleans. New Orleans is included in both cones!
  • We are tracking TD 14 which is likely to become a tropical storm Friday and be in the Gulf as a 75 mph hurricane Monday. This is the storm forecast to move toward Texas.
  • This weekend will be nice, so please prepare!
KPRC
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