1:45 PM CDT | June 16, 2018
Our attention continues to be on the gulf this weekend. Convection has increased with the disturbance since last night, and it looks pretty good on satellite. As discussed on the Facebook page yesterday evening, the models are in basically two groups right now. A few take it westward into South Texas while others lift it toward Southeast Texas. I believe it has to do with where the models believe the "center" of this disturbance resides. You can check out that post for more information.
The National Hurricane Center increased the chance for development from 10% to 20% with their latest outlook. I agree with this. We have seen the wind shear decrease, and the storms increase. In their 1:00 PM discussion, they state that "satellite-derived surface wind data indicate that a surface circulation does not exist, but strong winds are occurring to the north of the trough." This is why the model guidance is struggling in regards to the eventual track.
Significant development is unlikely, but where it tracks will have an impact on rain chances across the state. If it were to take a westward turn, rain chances would decrease quite a bit for Northern Texas. If it takes a more northwesterly track into the state, better rain chances would spread farther north. The Canadian weather model has been consistent in taking this disturbance near or just west of Houston Sunday afternoon. From there, it takes it through the heart of the state which would mean great rain chances for much of the state. On the other hand, the NAM and European weather models take the disturbance into South Texas late Sunday. It is incredible to see such disagreement 24-36 hours away.
Right now, we just wait and see what it does. Since the NHC raised its chance to 20%, the tropical weather models will likely begin this afternoon or evening. This could offer better insight into where it is likely to track. As it stands now, main hazards for Texas tomorrow into next week appears to be heavy rainfall, localized flooding, gusty winds, and perhaps a low wind/tornado risk. The latter risk would increase if it can develop a well-defined, low-level circulation. You can see the latest 5-day rainfall forecast for the United States below. For the latest official tropical weather information, visit the National Hurricane Center website. I will be posting periodic updates here and on the Facebook page. Be sure to check both places from time to time.