Tropical Storm in the Gulf of Mexico Likely Before Weekend
The weather scenario that has been shaping up over the past few days over southern Mexico is about to push its way out into the warm and sometimes volatile waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Forecasters with the National Hurricane Center now say tropical depression or tropical storm formation is an 80% probability before Saturday.
Should that happen, and what does it mean for Louisiana?
The good news, it's rare we have good news with tropical systems, is that current forecast models keep this weather system well to the south of Louisiana's coastline. However, that doesn't mean there won't be effects from the system felt along the beaches of Florida and Alabama, especially this weekend.
The storm system is centered near the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula this morning. Forecasters describe it as a broad area of circulation with large areas of disorganized showers and thunderstorms. There are strong upper-level winds over the system right now, this might inhibit its ability to strengthen but most of the model guidance does suggest a tropical cyclone will form.
The model consensus as far as the track forecast goes calls for the system to move northeastward over the southern Gulf of Mexico. The water is warm in that part of the Gulf and that should allow the system the opportunity to get better organized. Speculation is that the northeasterly movement will continue and bring the system over southwestern Florida this weekend.
While conditions will certainly be breezy around this storm system the major concern that we will have with it will be rainfall. Expect large rainfall totals over the Florida peninsula on both Saturday and Sunday.
Meanwhile, along the beaches of the panhandle and lower Alabama, surf conditions could be rougher than usual because of outflowing wave action because of the storm. Although it doesn't look as if the threat of rip currents will be as strong this weekend as it was for last weekend. You'll still want to pay attention to the beach warning flags before you venture out into the waves.
Meanwhile, the rest of us will watch and wait and see if we can't figure out a way to help our air conditioners do a better job.
12 Ways to Help Your Air Conditioner Cool Your Home Better