A rainy scenario for the northern Gulf has a slight chance to develop into something tropical
The ingredients to produce an organized tropical system along the northern Gulf coast in the next few days appear less likely to come together today, though it can’t be completely ruled out. The National Hurricane Center is still giving the broad area of disturbed weather a slight chance to develop into at least a tropical depression.
In broad terms, there is high pressure over the Atlantic east of Florida, and a strong high-pressure system over the western and middle U.S. In between, there is lower pressure. This type of pattern doesn’t break down quickly, which means the low-pressure zone over the northern Gulf will persist in some fashion through this week, at least.
An old front is part of that low-pressure zone. It’s currently over the Gulf waters but is forecast to be pulled north and reinforced a bit as weak disturbances drop from the north. Whether it ends up over the land or stays just offshore is the big question.
In the southern Gulf, the large upper-level tropical disturbance remains. The latest projections do not move it into the northern Gulf, but instead die it out farther south. This takes one ingredient away that might have reinforced the general area of low pressure.
The bottom line is that, for now, the main threat is heavy rain from Louisiana to the Florida panhandle. Exactly where the heaviest will fall, and what the configuration of the coverage will be, is impossible to say. Obviously, it makes a huge difference if the zone of heavy rainfall is over coastal areas or just offshore.
If a concentrate area of thunderstorms develops offshore over the extra-warm waters of the northern Gulf, there is a chance a tropical system could evolve. So the NHC is keeping that possibility on the table.
Everybody along the northern Gulf coast should stay aware of the latest forecast through this week.
Elsewhere in the tropics, nothing is expected to develop through the weekend.