Invest 93 still heading for the Gulf
The projected computer models are showing many possible pathways that this system may take, but there is one commonality among all of these possible paths, they all enter the Gulf of Mexico. As is typical with any system that enters the gulf, once in the gulf it could go anywhere. Right now the models are so diverse that this is a factual statement.
Many of the projected paths bring this system to the upper Gulf coast from Louisiana to Alabama. If the models eventually converge to this area and the storm actually follows this track, it will bring the system just to the west of the oil spill which in my opinion is the worst location for a storm to pass in relation to the oil.
If the storm turns towards Texas or Mexico, then there will be much less if any impact on the oil spill.
AccuWeather.com meteorologists are still monitoring the potential for a tropical system to enter the Gulf of Mexico late this weekend or early next week and potentially affect the oil spill area thereafter.
Since the system has not yet formed, there is still quite a bit of uncertainty in its potential strength and track. The feature of interest is a broad area of showers and thunderstorms currently located near Jamaica.
While tropical development is not a guarantee at this point, computer models are showing two main scenarios for where the feature will track.
A few computer models continue to bring the system over or just east of the Yucatan Peninsula this weekend then farther north-northeast through the central or eastern Gulf of Mexico by early next week. In this scenario, the system would target an area from Louisiana to the Florida panhandle.
In the other scenario, the majority of the computer models are now showing the system taking a more west-northwesterly track, passing over the Yucatan Peninsula this weekend and heading across the western Gulf of Mexico toward Texas or Mexico by next week. This track would steer the system clear of the oil spill area.
While most of the computer models now favor the second scenario, the first is not being ruled out. Expert Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity has taken a look at historical tracks of tropical systems that formed in this part of the Caribbean south of Jamaica. He found that many of these systems tended to take a track similar to the first scenario, heading toward the central or eastern Gulf Coast.
Graphic courtesy of AccuWeather