Disturbance Moves Toward Gulf Coast

A disturbance generated by a cluster of thunderstorms moved toward the Gulf Coast on Sunday afternoon. At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of the disturbance was located near latitude 27.0°N and longitude 88.0°W which put it about 240 miles (390 km) south of Mobile, Alabama. The disturbance was moving toward the north-northeast at 7 m.p.h. (11 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1015 mb.

A disturbance generated by a cluster of thunderstorms over the central Gulf of Mexico was designated as Invest 90L on Sunday afternoon. Visible satellite images showed that a distinct center of circulation had formed in a disturbance over the north central Gulf of Mexico on Sunday afternoon. A swirl of lower clouds was clearly visible on the images. Some thunderstorms were beginning to develop in bands northwest of the center of circulation. Otherwise, there were mainly low clouds and showers in the other bands near the center. Thunderstorms were also occurring in a band on the northeastern periphery of the disturbance.

The disturbance will move through an environment that will be marginally favorable for the development of a tropical cyclone during the next 18 hours. The disturbance will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 29˚C. The southern end of an upper level trough over the central U.S. will produce southwesterly winds that will blow toward the top of the disturbance. Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear and the wind shear will inhibit the development of a tropical cyclone. The disturbance is currently forecast not to develop into a tropical cyclone, but some development could occur if more thunderstorms form near the center of circulation. The National Hurricane Center in its 2:00 p.m. EDT Tropical Weather Outlook indicated the probability was 10% that the disturbance would develop into a tropical cyclone.

The upper level trough over the central U.S. will steer the disturbance toward the north-northeast. On its anticipated track the cluster of storms will move toward the central Gulf Coast. Bands of thunderstorms could drop locally heavy rain over northwest Florida and south Alabama during the next 48 hours. Heavy rain could cause flash floods in some locations. Some thunderstorms could approach severe criteria.