Tropical storm could end Jacksonville's wet spell

Low pressure expected to move south, develop into Tropical Storm Barry

Tropical Storm Barry may develop late in the week and track westward away from Jacksonville.
Tropical Storm Barry may develop late in the week and track westward away from Jacksonville.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It may take a tropical storm to finally bring an end to Jacksonville’s daily downpours.

It appears a tropical storm could form in the Gulf of Mexico later this week, and while it sounds convoluted, the event could finally bring a pause in the daily thunderstorm cycle.

The National Hurricane Center gives the area in the northeastern Gulf an 80% chance of developing later this week. Those are good odds for something that is actually nothing as of now.

The abundant moisture fueling Northeast Florida's daily downpours would feed the developing Gulf system and eventually drag our wet weather away toward the end of the week, depending on the system's evolution in the days to follow.


Until clouds form, models will vary drastically in any precise path or outcome.

How can something form when currently there are no tropical disturbances or easterly waves in the Gulf or Atlantic?

Here's how it lays out:

First - there is absolutely nothing in the Gulf to track now. 
Second - if or when a disturbance forms it would be after Wednesday night. 
Third and most importantly -- the wind and rain would likely head away from Jacksonville toward Louisiana or Florida’s Panhandle.

It's all because of a classic June/July northern Gulf tropical development set-up.

  • Unorganized summer thunderstorms dive south from the United States into the Gulf of Mexico. They are pushed by the jet stream configured in the shape of the Greek letter Ω Omega.

  • We know tropical systems must spin in a circulation in order to concentrate the system's energy. Thunderstorm clusters get the spin called vorticity, as winds around the base of the Ω shaped jet stream.

  • Thunderstorms organize in fast-swirling tropical cyclone as clouds grow taller and pressure drops, especially over the warm 90° water offshore Dauphin Island, Alabama.

  • If this plays out as expected, Tropical Storm Barry could impact the northern Gulf states by the end of the week.

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