Wednesday, 23 October, 2019

Hurricane Hunters to investigate Gulf Coast tropical system on Wednesday

Fig. 5 WPC’s 7-day precipitation forecast Fig. 5 WPC’s 7-day precipitation forecast
Elijah Vega | 10 July, 2019, 23:55

A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

Hurricane hunters will investigate on Wednesday afternoon. With that said, at this point, guidance indicates the Louisiana Coast has the best chance to see a landfalling tropical system on Saturday. Portions of Texas, Louisiana, and MS could receive over a foot of rain.

The NHC on Wednesday began issuing advisories about the weather system, even though it hasn't yet become a named storm.

Given the westward, slow-moving nature of the storm, a general 2 to 8 inches of rain is likely from the Florida Panhandle to the upper part of the Texas coast.

UPDATE (2:30 p.m. Wednesday): The National Hurricane Center now says the storm system, which has maximum sustained winds of 30 miles per hour with higher gusts, is expected to become a tropical depression Thursday morning, a tropical storm Thursday night and a hurricane on Friday.

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Southeastern Texas may also receive similar rainfall, but only if the storm were to move ashore along the western Gulf coast. But days before landfall, it's already walloping New Orleans with widespread flooding.

Lines of thunderstorms associated with the system on Wednesday extended far out in into the Gulf and battered New Orleans, were as much as 7 inches (18 centimeters) of rain hit the New Orleans metropolitan area over a three-hour period Wednesday morning, forecasters said. Additional Tropical Storm or Hurricane watches could be issued later today or tonight west of Morgan City.For storm information specific to your area, including possible inland watches and warnings, please monitor products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office.DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK -- At 1000 AM CDT (1500 UTC), the disturbance was centered near latitude 28.5 North, longitude 86.4 West. This could present an imminent possibility for disaster since the levees are only capable of protecting the city from surges up to 20 feet.

A tropical depression, tropical storm or minimal hurricane is likely to have little to no impact on operations of offshore oil and gas rigs. A secondary threat with a landfall to the west would be the potential for isolated tornadoes, depending on how strong the circulation is with the storm.

Regardless of the strength of the storm prior to landfall, rip currents, seas and surf will build throughout the Gulf of Mexico for the remainder of this week and into the weekend. Over the next several days, the primary risk is to the Gulf States.

The first tropical system to slam the United States this year is expected to make landfall as a hurricane.

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