Posted by: pyeager | June 28, 2011

Tropical Storm Arlene Forms; Headed Toward Central Mexico Coast

By Paul Yeager, author of Weather Whys: Facts, Myths, and Oddities

It’s official: We have the first named storm of the Atlantic tropical season, and National Hurricane Center forecasters predict that Arlene will move inland over the central coast of Mexico by midday on Thursday.

National Hurricane Center forecast track for Tropical Storm Arlene

National Hurricane Center forecast track for Tropical Storm Arlene

Overall atmospheric conditions are favorable for further intensification of Arlene, which as of this evening had sustained winds of  40 mph, and the NHC projects peak winds of 60 mph before making landfall.

The main limiting factor appears to be the broad circulation (resulting in some interaction with land) and the amount of time over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. However, if the storm were to remain over water long enough or have its center become more compact, we could be dealing with the first hurricane of the season.

Regardless, Arlene is not likely to become a major hurricane, with the greatest threat coming in the form of flooding rain along the central Mexico coast.

Remember, June is early for hurricane formation, but when it occurs, it typically occurs close to land.

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