Tropical Development Looking More Likely
The Tropics: A trough of low pressure located over the southeastern United States is forecast to move southward toward the northeastern Gulf of Mexico, where a broad area of low pressure will likely form in a few days. Some gradual development is possible thereafter and a tropical depression could form by the end of the week while the low meanders near the northern Gulf Coast. Regardless of development, this system has the potential to produce heavy rainfall along portions of the central and eastern U.S. Gulf Coast later this week. At this time, models are in disagreement on strength and forecast path. Currently, the Euro model strengthens to a tropical system and brings it into southeast Louisiana. This is the only model that is showing this track and rapid intensification. The GFS, NAM, and Canadian model do show some strengthening, but the path is less west and more east – pushing onshore along the Florida Panhandle. It is imperative to stay up-to-date with developments, as this low reaches the eastern Gulf during the midweek. The National Hurricane Center forecast a 0% of tropical formation in the next 2 days, and a 60% chance in the next 5 days. They also are hinting at the fact that this could form into a tropical depression over the northeastern Gulf of Mexico by the end of the week.
Tonight and Tomorrow: Another mostly clear night ahead, with muggy conditions as dew points stay in the mid-70s. Temperatures will be slow to cool, eventually dropping to an overnight low of 76° with light winds. The heat continues into Monday, as highs will reach around 96° with heat index values near 106°. That forecast will keep us just shy of the heat advisory criteria, but you will still want to exercise caution and stay well hydrated during outdoor activities. Spotty afternoon showers and storms will also develop between the hours of 1 PM and 7 PM, but should stay rather brief and sporadic.
Up Next: Rain chances bump up a bit Monday and Tuesday before more scattered showers and storms push in through the latter half of the week. High temperatures will stay above average, and in the mid-90s through the week.
More hot and humid weather is in the forecast through the early part of the workweek, as high pressure is still the dominating and located in southwest Louisiana. Since it is not directly over us anymore and shifting west, Gulf moisture will now be able to efficiently move onshore to provide isolated afternoon showers and storms Monday and Tuesday. The high continues west into Texas through the midweek, bumping up the available moisture as afternoon storms become more scattered Wednesday and Thursday. Winds will stay out of the south through the week, keeping high temperatures hot and above average in the mid-90s. There is now a fairly good chance of a low to develop into a tropical system just offshore of Florida’s panhandle later in the week, as the National Hurricane is forecasting a 60% chance of tropical develop within the next 5 days. This is based on the fact that sea surface temperatures are in the upper 80s, and upper-level wind shear is low in the eastern Gulf. Models have a tough time after the wave makes it in the Gulf and increases to a low pressure, but it will likely bring an increase in rainfall as we proceed into the weekend. We are still about 3 days out from this low potentially forming, and 5 to 6 days out from impacting the Gulf Coast, so forecast confidence is low. It is important to stay updated on this storm’s potential to gain tropical characteristics, and its forecast track. Stay Tuned.
--Meteorologist Matt Callihan
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