20% Chance of Tropical Development This Week. Don’t Panic (Unless You’re SpaceX).

The system that brought a rainy Memorial Day to Central Florida is expected to meander toward the Georgia and Carolina coasts over the next couple of days. There is a chance, albeit only a 20% chance, that it might pick up some tropical characteristics along the way. It’s worth noting, though, that the National Hurricane Center is specifically saying that it is “not expected to become a tropical cyclone due to strong upper-level winds.”

That might be little consolation to SpaceX as it attempts to launch the first human spaceflight from U.S. soil since 2011 on Wednesday. The 45th Weather Squadron’s forecast for launch day continued to show a 60% chance of a “no-go” for weather based on Sunday’s calculations… with the primary concern being having to fly through precipitation, thick clouds, and cumulus clouds as a result of remnant moisture from that quasi-tropical system. There’s further concern downrange, where bad weather in the Atlantic could come into play in the event of an emergency launch abort that leads the Dragon capsule to have an unscheduled splashdown somewhere between here and Europe. Also complicating matters is the fact that Wednesday’s launch attempt has an instantaneous launch window, meaning that if it doesn’t happen exactly at the scheduled time, they have to wait until Saturday to try again. There’s no waiting 30 minutes to see if the weather clears.

Special Tropical Weather Outlook
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL
520 PM EDT Mon May 25 2020

For the North Atlantic...Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico:

Special Tropical Weather Outlook issued to discuss the broad trough 
of low pressure extending across Florida and the adjacent Atlantic 
and Gulf of Mexico waters.

1. Widespread showers and thunderstorms extending across Florida, the 
Bahamas, and the adjacent Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico waters are 
associated with an elongated surface trough interacting with an 
upper-level disturbance.  Although a weak surface low could form 
along the surface trough just off the east coast of Florida and 
move northward toward Georgia and South Carolina on Tuesday and 
Wednesday, the low is not expected to become a tropical cyclone due 
to strong upper-level winds.

Regardless of development, heavy rainfall could cause flash 
flooding over portions of southern and central Florida tonight, 
spreading northward to coastal sections of northeastern Florida, 
Georgia, and the Carolinas on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Gusty winds 
could also produce rough marine conditions and life-threatening 
surf and rip currents along the coasts of eastern Florida, Georgia, 
and the Carolinas through Wednesday.  For additional information, 
see products from your local National Weather Service office.  The 
next Special Tropical Weather Outlook on this system will be issued 
by 9 AM EDT Tuesday, or earlier if necessary.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...20 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...low...20 percent.

Forecaster Berg

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