Tropical Development in the Gulf Possible This Weekend
A persistant area of low pressure and disorganized showers and thunderstorms has survived its trip across Central America and southern Mexico and appears to be poised to emerge into the very warm waters of the southwestern Gulf of Mexico later today.
That system has been monitored by the National Hurricane Center for the past few days and now the Hurricane Center is upping the chances for development. Previously forecasters had only given the system a 30% probability of growing stronger, that probability is now 40%.
The system is now showing up on tropical forecast models and the Hurricane Center has tagged it as Invest 99L. The track projections for the storm system do keep it well south of Louisiana. In fact, most of the model guidance keeps the center of the storm system south of Texas.
Hurricane Hunter aircraft are scheduled to fly into the system later today and it is possible the system could strengthen into a tropical depression before it moves onshore in northern Mexico late Saturday night.
The biggest threat from this system will be heavy rain and although our current forecast does include a big rain threat, we won't likely see moisture from this storm system for several days, if we see any at all.
Still, the system is worth watching until it moves onshore and is no longer a threat to growing stronger. Meanwhile, there are some long-range tropical models that suggest activity in the Gulf of Mexico late next week or the week after but those are just model runs and not official forecasts.
Louisiana's prime time for hurricanes and tropical weather is now through mid-October so we'll keep watching the tropics for development and make sure that you're informed.
Here, keep this nugget for when it finally stops raining.