November 2, 2023 Outlook: Invest 97L running out of time and a site update!

With the Atlantic tropics (and Pacific to a lesser extent) quieting down now, our schedule at The Eyewall will take on more of a “less regular” pattern. We will update on significant US or late season tropical weather events, and we’ll work to incorporate some suggestions for other content we can offer. For now, expect at least a post on Mondays to table set the week ahead.

Our ultimate goal is to be a daily one-stop shop for weather news and notes, with a focus on hurricanes. Sort of like “The Morning” or whatever other favorite morning newsletter you use — but for weather. So look for coverage of major storms, cold outbreaks, blizzards, etc. irregularly (for now) in the coming months.

And please, continue to spread the word to your friends and family. We’ve had a great first few months building up a base thanks to our coverage of storms like Lee in Canada, Idalia in Florida, and Hilary in the West. Our top cities for viewers come from Houston obviously but also Dallas, New York, Halifax, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, and Boston.

My two favorite posts so far have been our in depth look at what has fueled an increased frequency of major Gulf hurricanes, as well as our post explaining why Hurricane Otis did what it did recently to Acapulco. We will recap the Atlantic season next month when the final tally is in.

Feel free to offer any suggestions for things you want from us in the comments. Or things you don’t want! We can’t promise anything, but we’ll do our best to work in suggestions.

Continue to give us a follow on our social media platforms, as we’ll update those periodically through the next few months as well.


Thanks for your support in our first 5 months, and here’s to our future growth!

One-sentence summary

Invest 97L now seems unlikely to develop, but it will bring a healthy amount of rain and flooding risk to Central America in the coming days.

Invest 97L: Probably out of time to develop, but will still bring big rains to Central America

In the words of the legendary Hall & Oates, “I’m out of time.” Or at least that’s what Invest 97L is saying at this point.

Invest 97L is struggling mightily this afternoon. Development chances have dropped to a paltry 20 percent with this system as it approaches Central America.

There is an invest somewhere in here, but it seems highly unlikely to organize. (Tropical Tidbits)

And judging by the satellite picture I pinned above, even 20 percent might be generous. Whatever the case, an area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms will approach Central America over the next few days. Two things: First, credit to the European model for being very lukewarm on organization with this, whereas the GFS was quite bullish on intensity. Second, this remains a heavy rain and flooding threat for Central America and places ringing the Gulf of Honduras. Rain totals as forecast by various models continue to show anywhere from 5 to 15 inches or even more in spots. I am most concerned about the coast of Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize, as well as far northern Nicaragua.

Rain totals will be significant in Central America, even if 97L never organizes. Flash flooding, mudslides, and problems are likely in this region. (

Rain of this magnitude will likely lead to flash flooding, as well as the potential for mudslides in these areas. And this assumes little to no organization of 97L, so as we have been highlighting, we can view this as a big time rainmaker.

Elsewhere, both the Atlantic and Pacific look quiet over the next week, with no real land issues expected.

The rest of the U.S. looks pretty quiet with no significant extremes in temperature expected over the next 5 days or so. Rain will continue but should be manageable in the Northwest. Mountain snow, not atypical for November will continue in the interior West at times.

Welcome to The Eyewall!

Today marks the first day of the Atlantic hurricane season. It also marks the launch of our new website, The Eyewall. Welcome, and thank you for visiting!

Who are we?

Writing this post today is Matt Lanza, managing editor and meteorologist for Space City Weather, a Houston based weather blog that has gained a large following both in Houston and along the Gulf Coast for our honest, to-the-point, and hype-free coverage of weather. Joining me is Eric Berger, founder, editor, and meteorologist of Space City Weather. You can read more about us here. While we are based in Houston, Eric and Matt have both covered Gulf storms rather aggressively since Space City Weather was established. Matt is also a native of New Jersey and is very familiar with coastal storms and Mid-Atlantic hurricanes and tropical storms. In fact, Matt’s interest in weather stems from Hurricane Gloria in 1985, which moved up the Eastern Seaboard knocking out power to millions and causing over $1 billion (2023 dollars) in damage.

Seaside Heights, NJ after Hurricane Sandy in 2012 (National Archives)

Why do we exist?

In our work with Space City Weather, we have found an audience that is both receptive to our style and is fiercely loyal. We are often asked if there is an “us” equivalent in other places. The Eyewall aims to be the “us” in other places, at least as it pertains to hurricanes. With Space City Weather, we’ve learned a couple things:

In world where you are constantly being pinged on your phone with alerts and can frequently see scary maps of big storms shared in social media groups, there is a desire to have a source for weather that is not going to try to bait you into meaningless engagement or click on hyperbolic headlines. When the weather is boring, we’re boring (though we do try to note interesting meteorological things!), but when the weather gets serious, so do we. Basically, our philosophy is that if we amp up the language or tone in our posts, then you know it’s actually serious. Too much weather coverage centers around engagement and competition for page views, even when weather is not serious. We don’t have any metrics to target or compete for, so all we’re trying to do is build your trust. We view ourselves as a mission-driven public service. As such, we will gladly syndicate our content to any publication or non-profit facing a tropical threat. Please contact us for permission.

We try to humanize weather coverage. Houston has been through a lot, so we know what it’s like when our community suffers. We’ve had family, friends, and colleagues impacted by some of the other major storms in recent years like Ian in southwest Florida, Laura in southwest Louisiana, and Sandy in New York and New Jersey. We’ve seen how bad it can get, and we relate to what you’re going through when disaster strikes. We will try our best to be efficient with your time, clear in our coverage, and empathetic in our tone. The science is cool and important, but people first and foremost just want to know what it means for them and their community. That’s where we will focus our efforts.

Houston rescues during Harvey in 2017 (US Forest Service)

What you can expect from us

As noted above, you can expect us to be reined in when the weather is not serious and very serious when the weather requires that. You can expect posts that are clear and transparent as to our expectations with upcoming storms. When we aren’t sure about the forecast, we’ll tell you and explain what the possible outcomes are. We will do our best to answer your questions as we can here or on our social media accounts.

As far as content goes, for those of you familiar with Space City Weather, the cadence will be similar. You can expect a post each morning with a tropical outlook for the Atlantic basin. Look for our first one later this morning. We will cover what’s happening now, any tropical waves or disturbances of note, and focus on possible impacts. We will also tackle what we call “fantasyland,” which is often where the most misinformation on social media comes from. If a model is showing a storm on day 14, we’ll note it and explain why (in most cases) it will not happen or why it’s worth watching.

When a storm threatens, be it in Portland, Maine, Port St. Lucie, Florida, Puerto Rico, or Port Aransas, Texas, we will cover that storm in depth. We’ll have more frequent posts, explain risks, impacts, and share updates as needed both in the run up and aftermath. You can expect the same style of coverage we have devoted to Houston for big storms to be with us here at The Eyewall.

Outside of tropical storms and hurricanes, our coverage will be modest for now. We may post some items of interest at times. In fact, next week, look for a post here at The Eyewall that will tackle the question, “Why are we seeing so many frequent big storms in the Gulf of Mexico?” High end major hurricanes have made landfall on the Gulf Coast in 2017, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022. We will explain what the research says about this issue. If we establish ourselves and are able to build a large enough audience, we will expand our coverage to other weather events in time. For now, hurricanes are what we know best, and that’s what we’ll stick with.

How can you help us grow?

We know we’ll have a small base of excited and loyal readers to start. All we ask is that you share the site with friends and family that may live on the coast or in inland hurricane prone locations. If a storm threatens, let them know about us, much as our Houston audience just happened to do during Harvey and Laura. Otherwise, we’ll let our coverage speak for itself and, as we did with Space City Weather, work to grow organically and over time.

Meanwhile, give us a follow on our social media platforms:


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Let us know your feedback, thoughts, and questions. We are here for you, and we look forward to serving you this hurricane season, and hopefully in the future. Thanks for visiting!