MIAMI, Fla. (WMBB) – The National Hurricane Center continues to monitor an area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms as the next potential tropical system.
On Tuesday, confidence increased in the tropical system developing into a Tropical Depression by late Wednesday or early Thursday as it moves westward in the Gulf. If the system develops into a Tropical Storm, it would be named Barry.
Current sea surface temperatures are sitting in the upper 80s, which is well above the threshold for tropical systems to thrive, so it’s becoming more likely that we’ll see Barry develop in the northern Gulf.
This system is expected to drift westward away from the panhandle, and likely make landfall in south Louisiana, west of New Orleans.
Latest weather models are in a much higher consensus for the track of the system, bringing it to Louisiana, however the strength still varies from model to model.
As of Tuesday, the potential impacts across the panhandle from this next system could be 3 to 6 inches of rain, but that still depends on how close the system is to the coastline.
A broad low pressure system located over the eastern Florida Panhandle is producing disorganized shower activity. The low is forecast to move southward to southwestward and emerge over the northeastern Gulf of Mexico later today. Once the system is over water, environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for tropical cyclone formation, and a tropical depression is likely to develop by late Wednesday or Thursday while the system moves westward across the northern Gulf of Mexico. Regardless of whether or not a tropical cyclone forms, this system has the potential to produce heavy rainfall along portions of the northern and eastern U.S. Gulf Coast later this week. For more information about the rainfall threat, please see products issued by your local weather forecast office and the NOAA Weather Prediction Center. Interests along the Gulf Coast from the Upper Texas coast to the western Florida peninsula should monitor the progress of this system.
*Formation Chance through 48 hours…medium…50 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days…high…80 percent.National Hurricane Center