This afternoon a cold front is pushing slowly through Central Texas and should move off the coast by sometime Friday. Although a cold front this time of year is somewhat unusual, do not get too excited. Any cooling from this frontal passage will be quite modest, with morning temperatures dipping only into the upper 70s near the coast and mid- to low 70s inland.
Nevertheless, lower humidity levels, increased cloud cover and scattered thundershowers, will bring some relief to the summer-weary. The good news is that somewhat milder conditions will hang around through the weekend. The bad news is that high pressure and hotter conditions are likely to return next week.
Meanwhile in the tropics, a low located about 500 miles east of the southern Windward Islands has continued to struggle, as most tropical systems have so far this season. Aircraft did find a fairly well-defined low level circulation and areas with gale force winds. Still, dry air has managed to keep a lid on the storm activity needed to kick this system to another level. Experts do expect storm activity to flare up again tonight (as is often the case with developing systems) and the National Hurricane Center is giving the system (93L) a 70 percent chance for developing into a tropical depression or tropical storm by the time it reaches the Lesser Antilles. On the plus side for us, the same general weather pattern that is bringing in our cold front should also keep this system well east of the Gulf of Mexico.
Speaking of the tropics, Drs. Klotzbach and Gray, have issued their updated 2014 Hurricane Season forecast. They see less activity than normal for the remainder of the season, projecting nine named storms, including three hurricanes, before the season officially ends. The good news is that they think that the region from the Florida Panhandle west to the Mexican coast will have a lower than normal chance of seeing a hurricane this year, though they cannot rule out one completely. Still, this is a promising outlook as we head into the peak hurricane months of August and September.
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