Tropical System(s) in the Gulf Likely by Next Week
Tropical forecasts and tropical weather models seem to be in agreement that the Gulf of Mexico is going to a tropical weather hot spot by next week. Currently, the National Hurricane Center is monitoring two areas of concern. One is Tropical Depression 13. That system is still well out to sea.
The other system is a tropical wave located in the Caribbean Sea south of Jamaica that is forecast to move toward Honduras and eventually the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Although it's not a tropical cyclone now, forecasters have given the system an 80% probability of becoming one over the next five days.
Let's look at these two systems and their potential affects on the Louisiana coastline next week.
As of this morning, the forecast track for the Caribbean system takes it in a northwesterly direction. On this track, the system would cross the Yucatan sometime over the weekend. As of the early morning report, the latest tropical model guidance is still in disarray as to where the system might go after that.
However, many of the reliable tropical forecast models do bring the system into the Western Gulf of Mexico early next week and several of the models are suggesting the system is most likely to move toward the upper Mexican Coast or the lower or middle Texas coast.
Please remember these models lose a lot of their accuracy when extended through time, so don't make plans based on this information. Wait for an official forecast before you make any decisions.
Tropical Depression 13 appears to be poised to earn the name Laura at some time today or tomorrow at the latest. Forecasters with the National Hurricane Center are predicting a storm track that carries this system north of Puerto Rico over the southern Bahamas and very near Key West Florida by late Sunday night.
Tropical forecast model runs on this system suggest it could interact with Florida's west coast early next week and then move northwestward, eventually impacting the northern Gulf Coast. The model guidance is currently suggesting that anywhere from eastern Louisiana to the Big Bend of Florida could feel the impacts of this system. Again, forecast change over time and this one most certainly will.
The bottom line is that one, none, or both of these storms could impact South Louisiana's weather in some way, shape, or form next week. You'll want to have your tropical weather kit ready to go and your plans in place should action be deemed necessary.