The Tropics Are Heating Up!

Two Systems Target the US Gulf Coast...
Posted at 7:17 PM, Aug 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-21 19:22:08-04

The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season continues to shatter records.

Tropical Storm Laura, which developed yesterday, is the earliest "L" named storm on record, beating the record set by Luis, which developed August 29, 1995. With winds sustained at 45 mph, Laura is swiftly moving to the west at 17 mph. The system is expected to speed through the Lesser Antilles, before impacting Puerto Rico and Hispanola Saturday. For folks on the islands, it looks like the biggest threat from Laura will be heavy rainfall-- on average 1 to 3 inches, with isolated totals up to 5 inches.


As discussed at 5:30-- the warm waters of the Atlantic is one of the primary reasons the system is expected to strengthen as its moves towards the Gulf of Mexico. However, there are several facts that are present that can possibly have a weakening impact on the system. Wind shear-- especially from an upper level system to the north is close enough to impact Laura. Also, the storm will be interacting with the mountainous terrains of Puerto Rico, Haiti & the Domincan Republic--- and that type of topography takes a toll on tropical systems.


Tropical Depression Fourteen has been struggling to get its act together. There are some signs that we will see it develop into a Tropical Storm before landfall. Like Laura, TD Fourteen is forecast to interact with land within the next 24-36 hours, which will have a net weakening impact on the system. After that, there is remaining questions on the strength of a lingering upper level system in the Gulf of Mexico (and it's impact on TD 14)... which could create wind shear on the system. Guidance still has a tropical system making landfall on the southwest Gulf Coast.