Tropical Storm Ingrid Could Bring "Life-Threatening" Floods To Mexico

Sep 13, 2013

We're at the height of the hurricane season and there are three named storms over the waters of the Gulf and Atlantic. However, as has been the case for most of the season, none of them are a threat to Florida. Ingrid is the newest arrival, forming Friday morning in the Bay of Campeche, likely to threaten Mexico and Texas over the weekend with heavy rains and flooding. Humberto was the season's first hurricane, but remains only a shipping interest in the eastern Atlantic. And Gabrielle, the on-again-off-again tropical storm in the north Atlantic, is fading fast well east of New England. 


The southwest Gulf has been a hotbed of activity this year, with Tropical Storms Barry, Fernand, and Tropical Depression Ten all forming in the same vicinity. Tropical Storm Ingrid, however, will likely be stronger and more impactful than all three of its predecessors. Ingrid already has a large circulation and is full of moisture. Its projected slow movement over very warm waters in an environment favorable for strengthening, combined with the already saturated ground on the east coast of Mexico from another nearby disturbance, is a recipe for potentially "life-threatening floods" according to the National Hurricane Center. Much of northeastern Mexico north of Veracruz is especially at risk, and there is a low chance of flooding rains across parts of south Texas as well depending on the eventual track of Ingrid. Forecast data suggests the storm will gradually strengthen as it meanders over the extreme southwestern Gulf of Mexico through Saturday, then accelerate northwestward toward Mexico by early next week as a strong tropical storm or weak hurricane.


The season’s first hurricane continues to church across the eastern Atlantic, but is unlikely to impact any land areas. Humberto is forecast to make a sharp left turn to the northwest on Friday, moving into some cooler waters and strengthening wind shear, which will likely cause it to weaken into a tropical storm by Saturday. Upper-level winds are then forecast to cause a northward turn again by early next week, further increasing confidence that Humberto will soon be a distant memory and remain harmless.


Gabrielle has had three lives, forming as a tropical storm over the Caribbean late last week, re-forming as a tropical storm again as it neared Bermuda Wednesday, and then weakening to a depression Thursday morning before re-strengthening into a tropical storm again later that same day. Despite the on-again-off-again life Gabrielle has exhibited, the storm is fading quickly in the north Atlantic, and will likely be absorbed by approaching cold front Friday and carried out to sea.


While not likely to become a named storm anytime soon, there is a fourth area of interest we are monitoring for possible development. It’s a broad area of low pressure a few hundred miles east of the Leeward Islands. Conditions are only marginally favorable for development, and really not expected to change much through the weekend as it moves west-northwest at around 10 mph. Long-range forecast model data suggests any development would be slow to occur, if even at all, as it nears The Bahamas early next week. Considering this is the only tropical system with even a remote chance of affecting Florida, we will most-certainly keep an eye on it over the coming days.