Tropical Development off Louisiana Coast Possible Next Week
The National Hurricane Center's Five Day Tropical Outlook popped up with a surprise this morning, that surprise could be a tropical system right on Louisiana's coast by early next week. Before you run to Home Depot to stand in line for a generator read a little further so you have a better picture of what forecasters are saying about the tropics and a potential impact in Louisiana.
The graphic above from the Hurricane Center suggests that the upper Texas coast and all of the Louisiana coast should be mindful of showers and thunderstorms forming in offshore waters. That convection is expected to form around a low-pressure system that forecast models are predicting.
Believe it or not, this could be a huge blessing to our part of the country. A tropical low or even a tropical depression would be a prodigious rainmaker. And if you weren't aware, almost all of south Louisiana and the Upper Texas Coast are in severe drought conditions. So, a few days of steady but not torrential rain would be a great thing.
But, there is a downside to this, a major downside in fact. The sea surface temperatures in the northern Gulf of Mexico are warmer than usual for this time of year. Those warm waters act like jet fuel to a developing tropical entity. If something does "spin up" we should be prepared for the possibility of rapid intensification, even this close to the coast.
Will that happen? It's not likely but knowing there is a lot of uncertainty will hopefully spur you into checking back with us often for the latest.
The most likely scenario is this. The system, should it develop a spin, will push more Gulf moisture over Louisiana and southeast Texas next week. That means our chances for showers and storms, especially in the afternoon and early evening hours will be greatly enhanced. It should also put a soaking and soggy end to the current heatwave that we are all tired of dealing with.
Meanwhile, further out in the Atlantic forecasters are monitoring a tropical wave that now appears destined to become a tropical cyclone. Forecasters are giving this wave a 70% probability of becoming at least a tropical depression by Wednesday of next week.
The forecast track does keep the system in the low latitudes and track models are suggesting the system will be more of a southern Caribbean storm than a Gulf of Mexico storm. At least that's the thinking at this time. Remember, all forecasts are subject to change, especially a five-day tropical forecast.
As far as what you need to be doing, I would double-check my hurricane kit. Make sure your generator will crank. Replace any batteries in flashlights or other items and then I would enjoy my weekend. There is no imminent threat. There is no real reason for urgent concern.
As of now, we think it's going to rain and rain a lot next week and to quote American Idol's Luke Bryan, Rain is a Good Thing.
Just not too much of it at one time, right Luke? Let's hope we get enough rain to ease the drought, water the plants, fill the rain barrels, and keep the afternoon heat index well below 100 degrees.
That way we can quit grinching about the heat and resume whining about the price of gas.