Advertisement
  1. Hurricane

Georgia low pressure could become tropical depression today, then season's first hurricane

Invest 92L is has a 90 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression within 48 hours, the National Hurricane Center said. [National Hurricane Center]
Published Jul. 10

It started as a trough of weak low pressure — the remnants of an old frontal boundary — listing southward in the atmosphere above Georgia with little actual impact on weather at the ground level.

But as it pulled south, the system, known as Invest 92L, began to organize, helping pull in tropical moisture and a little extra rain across the Florida peninsula. Now that Invest 92L has drifted over the Gulf of Mexico, it's expected to become a tropical depression by Wednesday's end and has hurricane potential, according to the National Weather Service.

"Certainly there is a potential for this to become a hurricane before it makes landfall," Weather Service forecaster Ernie Jillson said.

As of the National Hurricane Center's 1 p.m. update, Invest 92L is beginning to organize over the northeastern Gulf southwest of Apalachicola. The Hurricane Center currently forecasts the system could develop into a numbered tropical depression by the end Wednesday or early Thursday. The chance of formation within two days is now 100 percent, as of the weather service's latest update.

From there, forecasters can determine the track and likelihood of Invest 92L becoming Tropical Storm — possibly even Hurricane — Barry.

"The conditions are there for something to form from this relatively weak disturbance," Hurricane Center forecaster Stacy Stewart told the Tampa Bay Times Monday, as the disturbance headed toward the Gulf.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Thanks a lot, Georgia: Tropical depression likely to develop in Gulf of Mexico.

Stewart said warmer-than-average waters will act as fuel for Invest 92L, allowing it to build, possibly quickly, as it heads west over the Gulf. The most significant areas of concern are Louisiana and Texas, where the Hurricane Center warns residents to be alert for hurricane and storm surge watches. There is little-to-no concern of a storm shifting east and making landfall in Florida, but even if it did, it wouldn't have a chance to strengthen into anything significant, Stewart said.

That doesn't mean Florida is completely in the clear. The system has pulled lots of extra rainy, stormy weather into Florida and the Tampa Bay area this week and should continue to do so until Thursday or Friday. Once the storm builds, stormy weather will concentrate to the west, pulling drier air over Florida and returning the Sunshine State to its typical summer shower pattern.

Additionally, Jillson said, tropical development could create winds that drive large waves to our shores, creating dangerous rip currents under deceptively calm skies.

"You might wake up to a nice sunny morning and say, 'it's a great beach day, lets head to the beach,' but there can be some strong, dangerous currents that can pull swimmers out," he said. "It's hard to say when they'll get stronger. That depends on how fast this system intensifies, but this could continue through the weekend."

The formation of the storm itself is somewhat of an anomaly. Most tropical systems begin with tropical waves from the western coasts of Africa. That happens about 70 percent of the time, Stewart said. The other 30 percent is usually from disturbances over the Atlantic. It's not common to see something with this potential form over the mainland U.S.

"It just happens that normally we see these further to the east over the Atlantic," he said, "but nature doesn't have any boundaries. It's happened before, and it will happen again."

2019 TAMPA BAY TIMES HURRICANE GUIDE

HURRICANE SEASON IS HERE: Get ready and stay informed at tampabay.com/hurricane

PREPARE YOUR STUFF: Get your documents and your data ready for a storm

BUILD YOUR KIT: The stuff you'll need to stay safe — and comfortable — for the storm

PROTECT YOUR PETS: Your pets can't get ready for a storm. That's your job

NEED TO KNOW: Click here to find your evacuation zone and shelter

Contact Daniel Figueroa IV at dfigueroa@tampabay.com. Follow @danuscripts.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Mos Antenor, 42, drives a bulldozer while clearing the road after Hurricane Dorian Mclean's Town, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Friday Sept. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa) RAMON ESPINOSA  |  AP
    Threatening to exacerbate islands’ problems, Humberto’s rains were falling on Abaco island.
  2. Members of the fire rescue team Task Force 8, from Gainesville, Florida, help remove a body one week after Hurricane Dorian hit The Mudd neighborhood in the Marsh Harbor area of Abaco Island, Bahamas, Monday, Sept. 9, 2019. Dorian, the most powerful hurricane in the northwestern Bahamas' recorded history, has killed at least 44 people in Bahamas as of Sunday, Sept. 8, according to the government. GONZALO GAUDENZI  |  AP
    Many in the northwestern Bahamas, known for its casinos, golf courses and mega yachts, worry they will be forced into deep poverty.
  3. The tropical outlook on Saturday Sept. 14, 2019. National Hurricane Center
    A north-northwest turn is expected by Sunday, just as the storm is projected to become a hurricane.
  4. The tropical outlook on Saturday Sept. 14, 2019. National Hurricane Center
    Humberto’s wind speeds reached 40 mph on Saturday as it’s expected to turn north-northwest.
  5. Wreckage left behind by Hurricane Michael. News Service of Florida
    Entire school systems are still recovering from long-standing damage and dealing with the disruptive aftermath of the storm.
  6. A 12-year-old Bahamian girl was separated from parents in Nassau after being rescued from Abaco. She ended up in a Miami home for migrant kids. COURTESY OF PAUL FAMILY
    Katyora Paul was released from a Miami shelter to her mother.
  7. The tropical outlook on Friday Sept. 14, 2019. National Hurricane Center
    The potential cyclone is expected to ride up the east coast, but will still send rain to Tampa Bay.
  8. Trevon Laing walks the roof of his house to repair the damage made by Hurricane Dorian, in Gold Rock Creek, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Thursday Sept. 12, 2019. Trevor says "After the hurricane they had me for dead, My momma was crying." When he returned, he said he found his brother crying on the front porch."I'm like, 'Hey, I'm not dead! You guys have no faith in me. I'm a survivor,'" he said, adding with a laugh, "He was shocked and mad at the same time." RAMON ESPINOSA  |  AP
    The government has cautioned that the list is preliminary and many could be staying in shelters and just haven’t been able to connect with loved ones.
  9. The outlook of the tropical disturbance from the National Hurricane Center. National Hurricane Center
    The National Hurricane Center said a disturbance over the Bahamas is growing and could soon become the next named storm.
  10. Royal Bahamas Police Crime Scene Investigators search for bodies in Marsh Harbour on Abaco Island on Sunday [AL DÍAZ   |   Miami Herald]
    Hundreds of evacuees are being turned away from because of new rules that weren’t in place before Hurricane Dorian. Bahamians who lost everything say they can’t comply.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement