Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Be sure to fill up before Thursday
Before Irene hit the Eastern Seaboard the price of gas increased just a bit in the fear that the refineries in the Northeast would be damaged by the storm. Now that Irene passed through the area with little affect on the refineries, one would expect the price of gas to drop. However, it looks as though a little surprise could form in the Gulf of Mexico that would cause the refineries in Texas and Louisiana to be in danger. Lee could form later this week.
We have been advertising that the strong ridge of high pressure that has been in control of our weather for most of the summer would split by Thursday allowing an upper air trough to take shape across Texas. This would allow for a tremendous amount of Gulf Moisture to move into the area cooling temperatures and giving us a good chance of rain. It now appears a tropical low will develop in the Gulf on Thursday and depending on how fast it develops, we could see Lee before the Holiday Weekend.
All of the models we use to generate our forecasts have now picked up on the fact that a tropical system will develop in the Gulf. There is however a very large spread in the strength and time of this system. We are also watching a cold front that will be moving towards the Red River on Sunday which could play a huge roll in where this system eventually ends up. If the new short range high resolution model is correct, we could be looking at a strong category 1 hurricane near the Sabine Pass on Friday evening. If this does occur we should see plenty of rain move across East Texas before the cool front arrives on Sunday pushing this system to our south and west. That is the good news. The bad news is the winds would be very strong and we could see wide spread power outages.
Again the above scenario is the worst case scenario now. A lot could happen between now and then that stops this system from developing or keeps it away from East Texas. One thing is for sure though. Once the oil companies get wind of this system developing, the price of gas will go up. All the oil companies have meteorologists on staff so it won’t be long until they are hearing this worst case scenario I mentioned. So the sooner you can fill up, the better.