The tropical wave we were watching yesterday was declared as “Invest 95L” today at about 2pm ET. With this designation, the National Hurricane Center began running specialized tropical models on the disturbance and will soon create a satellite frame that will follow the tropical system as it moves across the Bay of Campeche. Also, the Hurricane Hunters are planned to fly out tomorrow afternoon if the NHC thinks it is necessary.
The NHC has placed the wave axis and the low associated with it to the north of Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico. The ‘center’ is disorganized, and the center was placed based on the minimum central pressure of 1007 mb rather than on winds. I think that the pressure should begin to fall slowly and the system will begin to slowly organize, which will make finding the center a bit easier. Also, if the Hurricane Hunters fly tomorrow, they will get a better idea of where the area of lowest pressure is.
In this case, track is easier to forecast than intensity is. 95L will generally move west-northwest across the Bay of Campeche while slowly intensifying and organizing. 95L should be in the area on the Mexican east coast near Tampico in about 48 hours, and I believe it will be a weak Tropical Storm at the time of landfall. I do want to mention that the possibility exists for a quick organization and intensification if climatology has to do anything with it. Models are not forecasting that right now, and neither am I. Water temperatures are very high and the shear is going to be dropping in the next 24-48 hours. If this does become a tropical storm, it will be named Arlene.
Also, I wanted to mention something that popped up on the GFS today that I cannot leave unmentioned. After 95L/Arlene moves inland over Mexico, the GFS shows another low developing in the SE Bay of Campeche near where 95L is right now. It usually takes a few days for an area to recover from tropical activity, so I am a little reluctant to believe it, but it is a possibility.
In conclusion, in a disagreement with the NHC, I believe 95L has a 40% (Medium) chance of development before landfall, which may increase depending on what recon finds and if conditions improve faster than forecast.