Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker

A single source reference on tropical weather predictions. With a traditional focus on the upper Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast we've maintained links to track all Atlantic Basin, Caribbean and eastern Pacific storm systems. We are now expanding our view to tropical storms throughout the world intending to be a comprehensive global storm tracking resource.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tropical Storm Bill forms, follows Ana

The second named storm of the 2009 Atlantic season formed today in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Conditions in the Atlantic have become ripe for tropical storm formation. As I mentioned in an earlier post, this is the storm that I think is the one to watch.

Bill is following in a path very close to that of Ana. Teo scenarios are likely to play out as a result.

1. Ana acts as the blocker protecting Bill from the wind shear and the dry air that is located to the north and west of Ana. This will allow Bill to grow and further develop as he heads across the ocean.

2. Ana churns up cold water from the bottom of the ocean, robbing Bill of the energy needed to grow.

I really think that the first scenario is the more likely especially since it appears that Bill, the larger of the two storms in size, is pulling the moisture away as Ana fights the dry air.

Tropical Storm Bill named and will follow Ana to Bahamas and US east coast (Examiner)

First up, Tropical Storm Ana.

The storm that almost got named on Wednesday, then almost got ripped apart. This is a bit ragged, but all models show it intensifying to a strong storm, and possibly a hurricane by the time it may reach the Bahamas or Florida on Thursday


Second, and perhaps more important was Tropical Depression #3 - Tropical Storm Bill. This is following the same path as Ana, but looks much healthier. It could be looked as it Ana is clearing a path, since the upper level sheering winds will be less of a hindrance. The only wrinkle may be how strong Ana gets. That could churn up colder, deep water and affect the progress of Bill. Basically, the two are connected, but not identical. The models do show it as a stronger Category 1 or 2 hurricane and approaching the Bahamas and South Florida.

Tropical Storm Bill forms (ABC Action News)

Bill is another story. We've been tracking this for a week now, and it has the potential to be a VERY dangerous hurricane. I'm not saying for Florida, or even the US. It's just too early for that. It's certainly it could miss the US entirely with a sharp turn. It ALL depends on the ridge to the North. If the ridge holds, it's a roadblock and keeps this storm a threat to Florida. If the ridge weakens, that will likely allow the storm to turn North. That means trouble for the Mid Atlantic or it could even turn and miss everyone. Just too early in the game for this one. However, we DO feel this will become a hurricane, and possible, a major hurricane.
While it is way too early to make landfall predictions, both of these storms are showing tight convergence in the computer models for the next 5 days. This is very unusual this early in a storm's life. Right now Ana is pointing to south Florida while Bill is pointing at the southeast US from Georgia to North Carolina. As I said any landfall liklihood will be easier to predict by the end the week but the key thing is for people in the southeastern US and the Gulf Coast to begin preparing for whatever response is required.

2010 Atlantic Hurricanes (courtesy of

NOAA Gulf of Mexico Radar (courtesy of

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NOAA East Atlantic Radar (courtesy of