Update on Tropical Depression 19, and the busy tropics

Although the tropics pose no specific threats to Texas, in the interests of readers of this site all along the Gulf Coast Matt and I will provide updates today and Sunday on the threat posed by Tropical Depression 19.

The system is passing near the southern tip of the Florida peninsula this morning, and will move into the eastern Gulf of Mexico later today. Some time today it probably will become Tropical Storm Sally. One big question is how much wind shear the storm will have to grapple with over the coming days. If shear remains low, the storm will find ideal conditions to strengthen into a Category 1 or Category 2 hurricane over the warm Gulf. Otherwise, it will remain a tropical storm. Regardless, the primary threat is probably heavy rainfall, extending from Southeastern Louisiana along much of the western coast of Florida. For the northern Gulf Coast these heavy rains would likely come some time between Monday night and Wednesday morning.

NOAA rainfall accumulation forecast for now through Wednesday. (Pivotal Weather)

In terms of track, confidence is fairly high that the storm will make landfall somewhere between southeastern Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle—probably on Tuesday. The storm will move mostly westward or northwest until falling under the influence of a trough of low pressure over the continental United States that pulls it northward. Where precisely this happens will determine what part of the northern Gulf coast the storm strikes.

Forecast track map for TD 19 at 4am CT Saturday. (National Hurricane Center)

After this storm, over the open Atlantic Ocean, there are several other tropical waves that are candidates to develop into tropical storms or hurricanes. “Teddy” may therefore soon follow Sally. But at this time we see no specific threats to the Gulf of Mexico. In terms of the tropics, Texas seems to be in a pretty good place at this point.

10 thoughts on “Update on Tropical Depression 19, and the busy tropics

  1. Sid Sperry

    Thanks so much for your forecasts, Eric and Matt! We have linemen working in the Lake Charles and DeRidder, LA, areas, still trying to rebuild power line infrastructure following Hurricane Laura. Hoping this Tropical Depression – likely soon to become TS “Sally,” will stay to the east of areas that Laura impacted. Thanks again for all you guys do! – Sid Sperry, “The SPIA Index”

    1. J•D•P

      Appreciate the updates. Local news meteorologists are good but they are limited on time and oftentimes they overhype the tropical forecast.

  2. A-A-Ron

    I got to ask… Why is it people say “northern gulf coast” when it’s more of an “east to west” thing in regards to the US? If looking at then gulf as a whole, even Texas is on the “northern coast”.

    Always confused me!

  3. Brandee Standley

    So glad a friend tipped me off to your sight. My late husband was a meteorologist in the Air Force. He could predict weather better than any TV sites. He learned looking AT what was going on not feeding info in a computer.
    You seem to do same. I remember him saying first look out the window especially here on the gulf coast.
    Feel confident in your forecasts. Thank You. B

  4. Anita

    “ Texas seems to be in a pretty good place at this point”…so good to hear this time of the year. Thanks for the thorough, calm explanations!

  5. Stella Elaine Wikstrom

    I’ve recommended you to relatives all along the coast, as well as to former residents who want to know what’s going on. You’re the reason we left Beaumont before Laura.

  6. Jingle Jangle

    Thanks to Eric and Matt for burning the midnight oil by posting a weekend update, which is both reassuring and appreciated.

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