I’m writing this posting a little bit in the dark – literally, because it’s cloudy and I haven’t turned the lights on yet. But the subject is a weather condition known as the coastal surface trough, a rather persistent feature that grows right off our waters and just to the south. Let’s get down and dirty with the scientific forecast:
THE ECMWF DEVELOP A PRETTY STRONG COASTAL SURFACE LOW TONIGHT AND
TUES WITH THE FEATURE ROUGHLY MOVING PARALLEL TO THE TX COASTLINE
INTO EARLY WED. THIS SURFACE FEATURE WILL ALSO HELP MAINTAIN GOOD
OVER THE BRO CWA ENHANCING RAIN CHCS. THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCES IN
THE MODEL SOLUTIONS SHOW UP IN THE TIMING OF THE MOVEMENT OF BOTH
THIS MID LEVEL AND SURFACE SYSTEMS.
Some locals would recognize this as being a forecast for sloppy seas, high winds, and definitely rain. The big driver is a mid-level low pressure zooming in from the west, although our friend the coastal low will drive it all the way to High Island on the Louisiana border. And the long-range forecast is for another coastal low to form later in the week as well, a rarity having two of them in one week.
Back to the map I posted above, it is very interesting because it shows a bunch of northern Mexico in good detail. Our friend the coastal surface low always forms parallel to the beach. The surface low usually forms as if by magic about 10 miles off the coast, mostly in the top two-thirds of the map where it looks like a bow. Nobody really knows why it forms, which makes it really cool.
Or at least I can’t explain it. My research has taken me to studies about the mountain effect of the Sierras, which didn’t seem right because SPI doesn’t have any, to gravity waves, but those satellite pictures didn’t resemble our friend in the least. Stuff about sea-breeze front was disappointing as well, although sometimes in the summer you can actually see the coastal surface trough because of the morning thunderstorms you can see way off to the east.
But enjoy the map, as at least I still have much to learn about the Mexico coast to our south. Note that the Laguna Madre down in Mexico is huge. Hurricane Emily bashed the entire area around San Fernando on the lower left. Dang coastal low can be downright ornery sometimes!