Tropical Storm Bonnie - More Bark Than Bite

By: Oscar Fann WTVY-TV meteorologist
By: Oscar Fann WTVY-TV meteorologist

The original Tropical Prediction Center (TPC, or National Hurricane Center) track had Bonnie making landfall near the Louisiana / Texas coast. That has shifted with time to southeast Louisiana inland just west of New Orleans. However, several other non governmental hurricane specialists (notably Joe Bastardi of AccuWeather) are sticking to a landfall nearer Biloxi Sunday.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, all guidance (weather models) as well as both the TPC and Bastardi are keeping this a tropical storm with sustained winds no higher than 60-65 mph. As long as the strong upper low (causing shear and disrupting Bonnie’s organization plus entraining drier air into Bonnie) precedes Bonnie into the central Gulf there will limitations on how strong Bonnie can intensify. If the distance between the two increases and Bonnie slows (neither case appears likely as of now), then things might change.

Since the oil well in the Gulf has been capped for several days, boats skimming for oil are now finding it difficult to locate any significant amount of oil to collect. Bonnie’s effect on the residual oil should be mostly beneficial. The rough seas and heavy rains should act to dilute and help break down the remaining oil. However, some of this diluted oil would be driven ashore ahead of Bonnie’s landfall point. In addition, Bonnie’s wind driven seas could act similar to a washing machine’s agitation and help break up oil previously washed into coastal marshes. Much to watch over the next several days.

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