The Gulf of Mexico sees a big influx in moisture next week but development odds remain on the low side


  • Weather pattern change over Florida leads to much wetter conditions next week.
  • Model support for any tropical spin up within that pattern change is minimal.
  • The broader Gulf will likely see an increase in moisture after Father’s Day with a minimal chance at development, but all of that is likely to be battling a burgeoning U.S. early summer heat wave

Near term calm continues, but Florida gets soggy!

No tropical development is expected in the Atlantic, Gulf, or Caribbean over the next 7 days.

The biggest change over the next few days will be the increase in moisture over Florida. We noted this a couple days ago as more of a next week thing, and it appears that is on track. A few typical Florida thunderstorms are likely through the weekend, but next week sees a significant change. Precipitable water, or how much moisture is available in the atmosphere surges to about 150 percent of normal. This leads to a more significant dose of rainfall for the dry Florida peninsula.

Rain totals next week of 2 to 5 inches on average seem likely across Florida. Forecasts vary a bit in terms of where exactly the firehose is pointed, but for a decent portion of Florida, it will be a change from recent dryness. (Pivotal Weather)

There continue to be a very small minority of ensemble members or models that try to formally develop a weak, disorganized tropical system within this moisture plume near Florida next weekend. I am not really buying into this being a serious concern, but certainly all this rain in Florida could yield some localized flooding concerns eventually.

Next item in the Gulf? Maybe?

The Gulf is getting a little confusing, and you’ll need to parse this into two separate things. First, you have the Florida stuff and the very low potential for a spin up there next weekend, as laid out above. Secondly, you have this gyre-like feature that looks to sit over or near the southern Gulf, Yucatan, or southwest Caribbean after next weekend. There has been on-again/off-again development, especially on the GFS model, which you expect to see in June. We’ve discussed its poor overdevelopment bias in this region. But there has actually been some modest support for something in this region from the Euro too.

Broad lower than normal sea-level pressures are forecast by the European ensemble across the Gulf during days 11 through 15, with Tuesday the 18th shown above. (Tropical Tidbits)

What will be interesting with respect to this is that as this starts to become a feature, it will have to fight against a burgeoning hot summer pattern expanding across most of the Lower 48, including Texas and the South.

The same European ensemble shows a sprawling upper level area of high pressure from Texas into the Ohio Valley that will produce strong summer heat and will likely exert pressure on the developing slop in the Gulf. (Tropical Tidbits)

Even looking under the hood at things, that high pressure could be even a bit stronger than shown. If we assume that high pressure beefs up like this as shown and you get a drop in pressure with moisture pooling in the Gulf, it creates an interesting scenario where it may just dump over the Gulf or get squeezed into Mexico or coastal South Texas. I would probably lean against any organized development, but coastal areas of the Gulf could see an uptick in storm activity if this pattern comes to fruition, while inland areas bake.

Either way, it’s a story to monitor over the next week or so. But if you’re looking for a truly busy start to hurricane season, you may need to keep looking.

Are model shenanigans in the eastern Gulf next weekend realistic?

We got so many emails in response to our post on Monday, so thank you for everyone’s interest. We are going to work on some solutions for sponsorship or support and get back to those of you who replied as soon as we can. Thank you!


  • Quiet persists into midweek next week.
  • The GFS model is bullish on a possible system next weekend in the Gulf.
  • Digging into model data seems to suggest that a weak, sloppy system or just a disorganized plume of moisture is most likely in the central or eastern Gulf toward Florida late next week or weekend.

Quiet through early next week

So, just to kick things off with some clarity, there are no systems expected over the next week. Everything looks quiet through at least midweek next week.

Eyeing up the southwest Caribbean & Gulf next weekend

What’s showing up?

One common theme of June with tropical weather is the GFS operational model getting overly excited about potential development in the Gulf or Caribbean. It is a known model bias. It happens every year, and if we had a dollar for every GFS model run that showed a system that never happened, we’d be able to buy quite a few pizzas. All that to say that it’s at it again today.

The last 8 runs of the GFS operational model with several runs showing some sloppy tropical system hitting somewhere in the Gulf or Florida around next weekend. Inconsistency at its finest. (Tropical Tidbits)

We’ve seen several runs now of the GFS showing a storm around next weekend in the Gulf or near Florida. In June, the first question I’d ask when I see this is whether or not there is any ensemble support for such an outcome. Recall, these operational models are one-run/one-solution outcomes. Ensembles are when tweaks are made to the initialization of the model and it gets run 30 to 50 different times, producing more of a spread in outcomes. This offers a more realistic view of what the outcome of a pattern may be. When we look at the GFS ensemble, we see a number of ensemble members producing something in the Gulf or near Florida.

GFS ensemble members showing possible outcomes of what is shown above next weekend, with solutions ranging from nothing to moderate tropical storms in the eastern Gulf. (

Bear in mind that none of these are major storms. June storms, even with really warm water are likely to struggle because of wind shear. It’s still early. It is also why we tell people that there is no real correlation between how much activity there is in June and what we see over the peak of the season in August through October.

We have some ensemble support in the GFS, so the next question is whether or not we have European model support. We don’t. None of the 51 European ensemble members show anything meaningful.

What’s most likely?

While we have the GFS showing a system and the Euro showing nothing much, let’s look closer at how much precipitation the ensemble models show between June 11 and 17.

A comparison between the Euro and GFS ensemble mean of precipitation anomaly June 11-17 shows both models in agreement on a wet pattern for the central or eastern Gulf into Florida. (Tropical Tidbits)

Interestingly, but not surprisingly given what we know, both models are in agreement on above normal rainfall between June 11th and 17th over the central and eastern Gulf and Florida in particular.

Between what the models show and what we know about early to mid-June in the Gulf, it would be plausible to expect either a disjointed “plume” of moisture lifting north and northeast across the Gulf next weekend. Or, less likely but not improbable, a sloppy, marginally organized tropical storm moving in that same direction. Either way, Florida has been in a dry stretch lately, with developing drought, so any rain would probably be more welcome than anything.

60 day rainfall percentage of normal in Florida shows most of the Peninsula receiving about half their usual rainfall, or even less. (High Plains Regional Climate Center)

Whatever becomes of this potential next weekend, it seems this area in the southwest Caribbean or southern Gulf may be one to continue to at least keep tabs on deeper into June. We will continue to watch!

As year two of The Eyewall begins, we are looking for some sponsors!

The tropics look pretty quiet to start off the first full week of June, so I just want to take a brief moment today to reflect on our one year anniversary that we passed on Saturday.

The first full week of June should hopefully be a quiet one in the Atlantic. (NOAA NHC)

Through our first year, we served a half-million visitors with 1.5 million views on our site. We did this with no advertising; just our base audience in Houston from Space City Weather, searches, and word of mouth. Our most popular post was a deep dive into Hurricane Otis, explaining why it became the monster it did hitting Acapulco last autumn. We tinkered a bit with covering some other weather stories around the country, including leading up to the solar eclipse this spring, explaining a very complicated cloud cover forecast as best we could.

As we embark on year two of The Eyewall, we will change things up just a little. Instead of posting every day, if only to often say “nothing is happening,” we will post regularly at least twice a week and obviously increase the frequency when things get busy. Our goal for this site is not to be your only source of tropical weather information, nor is it to be your local authority on tropical weather (outside of Houston). Rather, it is to supplement everything you see, read, and hear through the long marathon that is hurricane season. We want to add context, set goalposts, and offer insights that may get lost in the shuffle as storms get moving.

We continue to offer this to our readers with no real compensation to us. Which is fine! We love doing this. However, if you are interested in sponsoring a growing site, we would be happy to chat. Our goal is to become a must-read site for coastal residents from Texas to Maine and beyond during the Atlantic hurricane season. We’ve built up a niche set of followers from our coverage last year in California, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Florida, in addition to a significant audience here in Texas and in Louisiana. We have no intention to ever put anything behind a paywall or litter the site with annoying ads. So if you’d like to get in on the ground floor, we’d love to work with you.

A reminder that we will also be active on social media, so give our sites a follow depending on what platform you’re most comfortable with.

TikTok (we will occasionally cross post from Instagram there)

Here’s to a quiet season ahead, even if we don’t think it will be.

As the likely active 2024 hurricane season kicks off, we look at ways the forecast outcomes could be less bad

Today marks the first day of what is expected to be a very active hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean. You’ve seen the forecasts. You’ve heard probably more than you care to hear about it. Today, I just want to ground everyone a bit.


  • Hurricane season is officially underway, with a very active season expected
  • La Niña is still expected to develop, and water temperatures in the Atlantic are historically warm
  • There are ways this season can be not as bad, including the 2010 path, a slower La Niña, or some other known unknown

Realities of 2024

Look, the reality is that the data is the data. We are likely heading into a La Niña, which has historically led to busier than normal Atlantic hurricane seasons.

Strong ensemble model agreement from the C3S multi-system ensemble which takes multiple government agency forecasts and plots them together. (The Copernicus Programme)

That’s about as strong agreement as you could ask for to have confidence that a La Niña was going to develop by mid or late summer.

The Atlantic Ocean is absolutely raging warm right now. The most important initial ingredient for tropical systems to develop is warm water, and we have plenty of it out there.

(Note: If you want a good, readable explainer on how tropical systems form, I highly recommend this from Dr. Kim Wood at the University of Arizona)

Sea-surface temperature anomalies show that water temperatures are above normal virtually everywhere in the Atlantic basin. Some places are even warmer than their average peak values already. (Kim Wood/University of Arizona)

At this point, the entire Atlantic is warmer than normal where it matters, and some places are already even above their peak climatological values, normally reached in August or September. So, yeah, people aren’t hyping this, the Atlantic really is that warm. We are in somewhat uncharted territory here.

These are two very key reasons that explain why seasonal forecasts are what they are.

Reasons to not curl up in a ball in the corner of a room just yet

I just got done explaining why this season was likely to be extremely active. Despite realities being what they are, there are ways that the forecasts may not come to fruition, or perhaps come to fruition in a less impactful way.

The 2010 pathway

While it was not a top 10 year, the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season was still one of the busiest ones on record, qualifying as extremely active. As busy as it was, the impacts from the storms that season were far less than they could have been, given the activity.

A map of the storms from the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season (NOAA NHC)

Hurricane Igor was a very bad storm in Newfoundland, one of their worst in years prior. Early season Hurricane Alex was particularly bad in Mexico, as was Hurricane Karl. Hurricane Tomas was also terrible in the Caribbean, especially in Haiti, which was still reeling from their major January 2010 earthquake. Tomas and Igor were retired.

So why am I saying the 2010 scenario is positive? It’s hard to have a busy hurricane season without some degree of devastation somewhere. That’s the reality. However, given that there were 19 named storms, 12 hurricanes, and 5 major hurricanes in 2010, that the destruction was not even worse is somewhat incredible. The hope would be that a 2010-type outcome limits the amount of loss of life and property we could otherwise see this year.

What if La Niña doesn’t quite come to fruition?

We are likely heading for a La Niña this year. The NOAA forecast from early May showed about a 50/50 chance La Niña develops by mid-summer and about a 70 percent chance it develops by late summer or early fall, at the peak of hurricane season historically. Bear in mind, however, that a 70 percent chance of something happening also means that there is a 30 percent chance that it does not happen. Let’s say La Niña is slow to get off the ground over the next couple months and it finally gets going in October or November? Let’s say we get into a firm ENSO neutral or “La Nada” situation heading into fall? These are not high probabilities, but they’re not inconsequential probabilities either. Will it prevent this hurricane season from being active? Probably not. But could it trim a little off the top, so to speak? Sure. It’s not an impossibility by any means.

Known unknowns

Seasonal forecasting is hard though not impossible. And hurricane forecasts have been rather spectacular in recent years. NOAA and Colorado State do good work. But there are frequently “known unknowns” that will show themselves. What if there’s persistent wind shear somewhere this year? What if there’s a lack of mid-level moisture to help storms thrive? What if like last year, most entry points to the western Caribbean and Gulf are closed off due to high pressure? There are a million “what if” questions we could ask. That could help mitigate the damage potential from storms this year.

Final words

As we begin the long slog that is hurricane season, we know that it is likely to be active. That much is certain. But there are ways it’s active and not as bad as it could be. And there are ways it may not even be as active as we fear. That’s the reality of long-range forecasting.

That said, hope is not a strategy, and if you are in a hurricane-prone location, you should prepare (as you should every year) for the season ahead. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to make elaborate hurricane season preparations, so look out for each other and continue to keep tabs on things. We will have more to come through the season!