Tropical system crosses from Pacific, may re-form

HARLINGEN —The remnants of Pacific Tropical Storm Amanda are taking a short-cut across Guatemala and could re-organize into some sort of tropical system in the Bay of Campeche.

The early-season tropical disturbance has a good chance of re-forming into some sort of tropical system over the next five days as it extends into the warm waters of Mexico, the National Hurricane Center reported Sunday.

“It’s still a very tricky forecast at the moment,” Rick Hallman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Brownsville, said Sunday. “Right now the Hurricane Center’s giving it a medium, 50-percent chance of developing in the southern Bay of Campeche over the next five days.”

“A lot of it is going to hang on what happens after that,” Hallman added. “We’re looking at high pressure kind of developing across Texas. Right not there’s high pressure across the eastern gulf and there are a lot of little things that have to play out as we go into the middle of the week before we can get a good sense of how it’s going to happen.”

The question, as is often the case with tropical systems coming from this area, is whether the center of the disturbance will hug the Mexican coast and approach the Rio Grande Valley, or jog more easterly into the middle of the gulf.

When it made landfall in Guatemala over the weekend, Amanda had sustained winds of 40 mph, although it has broken up after making landfall.

Still, it’s going to be a real rainmaker, and if the disturbance stays near the Mexican coast as it travels northward, some of that rain may arrive in the Rio Grande Valley. Despite recent precipitation here, large portions of Cameron, Willacy and Hidalgo counties remain in severe to moderate drought.

“For Central America, especially, there’s a lot of rain going to come from this,” Hallman said. “That region can’t really handle a lot of rain usually, they get big landslides and heavy flooding.”

“Depending on where the system goes, it will change our forecast mid-week to late week,” he added. “If it stays east of us, we’re going to look hot and dry. If it can stay a little bit further west, maybe we can tap into that tropical moisture.”