Rare April Subtropical System Could Make Its Way Into the Gulf, Bring Rain to Louisiana
GULF OF MEXICO (KPEL News) - The Gulf of Mexico could be seeing something pretty rare: a subtropical system in April.
AccuWeather meteorologists are keeping an eye on the Gulf, the website says, as conditions appear to be ripe for the rare weather event. Tropical storms in April aren't unheard of, but they are increasingly rare, AccuWeather says.
It is generally a rare occurrence for tropical depressions or storms to form in April, but it has happened over the years. The most recent named storm to form in April was Tropical Storm Arlene, which formed over the central Atlantic in 2017. However, no tropical systems have ever been documented in the Gulf of Mexico during April. Interestingly enough, the first name on the list that will be used to identify 2023 Atlantic storms is Arlene.
Typically, water temperatures in April are not high enough for a fully-formed tropical system to develop, but subtropical systems can still be dangerous. According to AccuWeather, current temperates "are 5-8 degrees above the historical average in the northern parts of the Gulf to close to the historical average near the Caribbean."
That can bring some rain to south Louisiana, particularly in the New Orleans area.
April Showers Are Happening... A Lot
As Weather.com notes, April typically brings with it several erratic weather patterns. "The collision of seasons can lead to severe storms, flooding and snow," the website notes. "Tropical storms have even formed in the Atlantic in April."
Already, we've seen some severe tornado systems across the country, as well as evidence pointing to a shifting "Tornado Alley" that has moved away from Texas and Oklahoma to states like Alabama and Mississippi.
With more rain comes more flooding, too, which is a concern that Weather.com also explains:
These systems can bring rounds of rain which, when combined with snowmelt due to warming temperatures, can result in river flooding. In addition, flash flooding is also a more widespread concern as thunderstorms become more common.
Precipitation this April is expected to be above average in parts of the Midwest. Portions of this region have a decent snowpack in place, which is a factor in the flood outlook.
Flooding is a risk for much of the eastern half of the U.S., as well as in California and the Great Basin this year, according to NOAA's spring flood outlook. Moderate to major flooding is predicted along the Mississippi River from Minneapolis to St. Louis.
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