As you know, hurricane season began June 1, and we’ve had one area of low pressure move across Florida, into the Gulf of Mexico, and then disorganize to become nothing more than a rain event as it moved into Mexico. Good. We could have used a rain event in Texas, but it’s just as well that the system didn’t develop into a tropical storm.
There’s a weak area of low pressure in the Caribbean though, that appears to be a bit more likely to develop into… something. According to Accuweather, this low is situated just 200 miles south of Jamaica and is over water warm enough to foster development. Additionally, the low is beginning to look more organized than it was just a day ago, but no dramatic development is expected in the next 24 hours or so.
Here’s a map for you showing the areas in the Gulf and Caribbean where storms have traditionally been spawned as the season progresses. As you can see, the early-season storms can often develop quite close to shore. Remember Tropical Storm Allison? It developed on June 4, 2001, and struck the Texas coast right after it developed. There wasn’t much time to prepare for the massive flooding that storm caused, especially in Houston. Amazingly, enough, that storm drifted northward into Texas, then went back out into the Gulf of Mexico where it then drifted into Louisiana, across the United States, and finally emerged into the Atlantic Ocean. Allison left 41 people dead in her wake and caused a massive amount of damage. “Allison” is the only tropical storm, which never did develop into a full-blown hurricane, to have its name retired.
Just remember this, Allison developed early, right offshore, didn’t allow for much preparation, and caused death and destruction. We can never be 100% certain that this won’t happen again, so it’s best to be prepared right from the get-go if you live anywhere along the coast. We really don’t know for certain where or when Arlene will appear. Let’s just pray it isn’t anything like Allison.
Here is a link for you to see a real-time enhanced satellite image of the low pressure system which may, or may not, develop into something more interesting. http://hurricane.accuweather.com/hurricane/atlantic/basin.asp? Be sure to click on the link below the image, “More Atlantic Satellite Maps.” There are a variety of images from which to choose.