An area of low pressure in the Gulf of Mexico has an increased 50% chance of strengthening into a tropical depression as the disturbance moves slowly west-northwestward toward Texas.
The area of low pressure has yet to develop into a tropical system, but may intensify and organize itself as it treks through the Gulf of Mexico this week. A NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft may investigate the system Wednesday afternoon if deemed necessary.
If this storm does intensify, it would become Tropical Depression #8, or potentially even Tropical Storm Hanna. This storm is not expected to reach hurricane strength.
Tropical Cyclone Classifications
- Tropical Depression: Less than 39 mph
- Tropical Storm: 39-73 mph
- Hurricane: 74+ mph
As this system moves toward Texas over the next several days, it will be moving over generally warmer than normal ocean waters that can act as fuel for a developing tropical system. Other factors that can affect intensification include mid-level humidity and the amount of wind shear in the storm’s environment.
Read the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center below:
Tropical Weather Outlook NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL 800 AM EDT Wed Jul 22 2020 A tropical wave is producing a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms over the eastern Gulf of Mexico, central and southern Florida, and western Cuba. Gradual development of this system is possible while it moves west-northwestward, and a tropical depression could form during the next few days. This disturbance is expected to move over the central Gulf today, and reach the northwestern Gulf on Thursday and Friday. An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate the system later today, if necessary. * Formation chance through 48 hours...medium...40 percent. * Formation chance through 5 days...medium...50 percent.
Our local forecast in central Texas this weekend is highly uncertain as so many questions remain on where this disturbance tracks and how strong or weak it may be upon arrival on the Texas coast late Friday. Some computer models are suggesting the potential of heavy rain and cool temperatures this weekend, while others are suggesting a more minor impact.
However this plays out, it does at least appear that Austin will receive its first measurable rainfall of the month over the next week, putting a quick end to what has been a record-dry July thus far.
Stay with the KXAN First Warning Weather team as we monitor this system, and what is forecast to be a hyperactive Atlantic hurricane season through the summer and fall.