One Storm, Two Scenarios

One Storm, Two Scenarios

Tropical systems in the Gulf can be notoriously difficult to forecast, especially when steering currents are weak. This is exactly the case with Tropical Storm Nate.
Tropical systems in the Gulf can be notoriously difficult to forecast, especially when steering currents are weak. This is exactly the case with Tropical Storm Nate. Computer models are very much split on two very different scenarios. The official National Hurricane Center forecast calling for a slow Northwest movement over the next few days is essentially a split down the middle of the two model camps.



One scenario is that Nate drifts slowly and then begins to move West toward the Mexico Coast as a developing upper level high over Northern Mexico and Texas becomes the dominant steering mechanism.


The second group of models take Nate North toward the Northern Gulf Coast. In this case Nate moves far enough North in the next couple of days that it is eventually picked up by a trough accelerating it toward the North and Northeast.



The models that do offer this solution vary greatly in the timing, ranging from late in the weekend to late next week. Given the very weak steering currents, it would be more likely that a slower solution would be more likely if this scenario pans out. The end result is that there is considerable uncertainty in the track and it should not be assumed that Nate will follow the current forecast. There is no immediate threat to the Gulf Coast, but Nate needs to be watched very closely over the next couple of days as significant changes in the forecast track are likely.
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