High Chance of a Tropical Storm Forming in the Gulf of Mexico Later This Week
Low pressure will form in the Gulf of Mexico later this week, and there is an increasing likelihood of it gradually becoming a tropical depression or storm, but its potential future track and impacts are still uncertain.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has outlined an 80% chance of tropical development late in the week in the northern Gulf of Mexico.
The previously mentioned area of low pressure is expected to develop in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday, according to the NHC. If the circulation center remains over water and becomes better defined with concentrated shower and thunderstorm activity, then it could become a tropical depression or storm late this week.
In the near-term future, pockets of heavy rain may trigger some localized flash flooding in the first half of this week from the northern Gulf Coast to Florida and parts of the Southeast. This rain will be caused by the upper-level disturbance and a stalled front playing a role in the potential tropical development.
Forecast uncertainty remains high from the second half of the week into this weekend, assuming a tropical depression or storm does develop. This includes the potential future track and intensity of this system.
Recent computer model forecast guidance is suggesting that the area of low pressure may eventually get steered westward or west-northwestward through the northern Gulf of Mexico in the general direction of Louisiana and Texas. That movement would be induced by the clockwise flow around a high-pressure system centered in the southern Rockies and Plains.
There is also the possibility that after an initial westward track, the system gets pulled north or northeastward toward the central or northeastern Gulf Coast. That would be caused by a cold front moving through the eastern United States helping to pull it in that direction.
For now, residents along the entire Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida should simply monitor the forecast for late in the week and this weekend, knowing that conditions could change.