WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

Second chance for Five?

Posted August 16, 2010 7:31 a.m. EDT

Last week, Tropical Depression Five had a brief lifespan as a tropical cyclone on the 10th and 11th of August, drifting across the northeastern Gulf of Mexico and then becoming disorganized and moving up over the southeastern U.S.  Over the past weekend, it became attached to a stalled frontal boundary, with a significant amount of shower and thunderstorm activity in the vicinity of the remnant low over parts of Georgia, Alabama and northwest Florida.

Today, the center of circulation from that remnant has shifted out over the Gulf of Mexico once again, just south of Panama City, FL (where I lived for several years in the late 80s/early 90s, as an aside) - a number of computer models show reasonable agreement in arcing the low southwestward and then northwestward, moving it a couple hundred miles offshore and then back inland somewhere around eastern Louisiana or Mississippi later Tuesday or early Wednesday.

With the old frontal boundary washing out and the low center spending some time over warm and relatively open water, there is at least a chance (50/50 according to the National Hurricane Center - see the image above) that the system will regain tropical cyclone status. So far, most intensity forecasts are only showing wind speeds in the tropical depression range, but a couple suggest a brief window in which the system could become a tropical storm, in which case it would be named Danielle.

Looking beyond that in the tropics, there is a pretty vigorous wave just about to exit west Africa later today. Several models pick up on this system crossing the Cape Verde islands area over the next couple of days and then potentially developing into a tropical cyclone later this week, though there is considerable disagreement on it's eventual path by next weekend, ranging from following a west-northwest line toward the Caribbean to a rapid turn north into the central Atlantic. Time will tell, and we'll be watching it in the days to come.