NOT YET A TROPICAL STORM BUT VERY CLOSE! S TEXAS COAST THE TARGET
Technically it may not be a true tropical storm yet but judging by the satellite pics it is pretty close. There are technical criteria that determine when a system is upgraded and while top winds are 50 mph the center remains elongated to some degree. The center is on the western edge of the convection which seems to be getting more concentrated. Regardless as this system nears the Texas coast they will experience gales and tropical storm conditions anyway. The system continues to move toward the northwest toward the coastline and probably has 24 to 36 hours to achieve t.s. status.
There is a ton of moisture on the eastern side and that is likely to bring flooding rains to northeast Texas and anywhere north where the center comes inland. The questions down the road will be whether the system gets locked away down there or does it do as JOESTRADMUS suggested as a possibility which is to find its way north and northeastward in the course of time. Many of the hurricane based models seem to suggest this possibility.
The latest advisories and forecast are on the National Hurricane Center page.
The upper ridge continues to hold with the weakness west of 90-95W where the alley way is for this to move. Beyond the short range we see the model guidance from earlier which took the storm inland and north except for the WRF which takes much longer to bring it ashore. The implications of this are a stronger storm but one that possibly winds up further west and there for much less of an issue for areas well north or northeast. I will wait for new models overnight to reconfigure all this. Below are the latest hurricane model plots and they are pretty tightly clustered. We must watch this storm closely because it could significantly impact the Northeast.
Joe Cioffi has been a meteorologist in the New Jersey/New York area for the last 30 years on NJ 101.5 radio and WPIX TV in New York. You can like and share him on facebook and of course you can follow him on twitter @joecioffi.