*******Note that forecasts and outlooks in this post are NOT the official forecast from the National Hurricane Center (NHC). They are my own detailed views on the Atlantic tropics based on current observations and latest computer model runs. As such do not make decisions based on my posts...consult news media...watches and warnings from your local weather office...and any evacuation orders issued by local governments to make the most informed and best decisions. Visit the NHC website hurricanes.gov (hurricanes dot gov) for the latest watches/warnings and official forecasts on active tropical cyclones.**********
...THURSDAY JULY 23 2020 6:58 PM EDT...
The following is a special update on tropical depression eight which has become considerably better organized on satellite imagery this afternoon. As the upper vorticity to the southwest that previously disrupted this system has continued to weaken...upper-level winds have become more favorable for development as upper anticyclonic flow with low shear and upper outflow extending from a southeatern United States upper ridge expands in the wake of the vorticity. It is clear the depression is responding to this and the warm 30 deg C water by becoming much better organized this afternoon per the above satellite picture. Therefore this special update is to increase in the intensity forecast to a peak of 65 mph maximum sustained winds...a strong tropical storm not far from hurricane force. The National Hurricane Center has also increased their peak intensity forecast to 60 mph. My track forecast is the same as previous despite a southeastward center reformation this afternoon and the National Hurricane Center official forecast being further south and slower than my forecast. I have not adjusted the forecast track more southward as this system will soon be reaching the west side of steering surface ridging over the eastern United States where southerly flow may keep this system at a more north position. I also keep a faster track...showing a landfall timeframe of late Friday/early Saturday...in agreement with the latest 1200Z GFS model run.
Unlike Tropical Storms Cristobal and Fay which made landfall in the United States when/where the COVID-19 virus outbreak was less severe...this system will be approaching coastal Texas at a time and location where a signficant COVID-19 emergency is ongoing. Interests along the Texas coast from the Louisiana border all the way to Matagorda Bay and points just south of the bay...as well as areas just inland from this coastal region...should be making preparations for strong tropical storm..and possible minimal hurricane...conditions...in particular in the Matagorda Bay region and points south where the landfall potential of the storm core appears to be increasing. In the event you must retreive preparation supplies (for storm surge...power outages...etc) in a crowded situation...frequent sanitizing of your hands and wearing a face mask will be necessary to protect you and those around you from COVID-19. Sanitize the packaging of purchased supplies before use in your residence. In the event you may have to leave due to a concern such as storm surge...consider planning the use of a family/friend residence further inland or a hotel location further inland in case you may need it..as a crowded public shelter may not as ideal for controlling your exposure to COVID-19. This system will be bringing impacts to the Texas coastal region as soon as Friday night/early Saturday morning.
******Infohurricanes.com forecast. Visit hurricanes.gov (hurricanes dot gov) for official forecast***********
0 Hr Position (1800Z Jul 23)...30 mph maximum sustained wind tropical depression centered in the Gulf of Mexico at 26.1N-90.7W
IOH 24 Hr Forecast (1800Z Jul 24)...65 mph maximum sustained wind tropical storm centered just offshore of Texas at 28N-95W
IOH 48 Hr Forecast (1800Z Jul 25)...40 mph maximum sustained wind tropical storm centered over southeastern Texas at 28.8N-97.5W
IOH 72 Hr Forecast (1800Z Jul 26)...Remnant low pressure over southern Texas and just east of the Texas/Mexico border near 29.5N-100W