New Tropical Trouble for Louisiana? We’re Watching the Gulf
Hurricane anxiety is a real thing in Louisiana. When you've been Mother Nature's tropical bullseye for the past five or so hurricane seasons you get to be a little chippy when it comes to the monster storms and where they might track. Heck, we've still got people out of their homes because of Hurricanes Laura and Delta so it's no wonder we get a little "testy" when the words "tropical trouble" are mentioned along with the Gulf of Mexico.
So, we just had Tropical Storm Harold slide through the Gulf. That storm system made landfall in South Texas on Tuesday. For the most part, Harold was never really a big player on the Louisiana tropical worry meter but a new system the the National Hurricane Center is tracking just might amp up the concern in the coming days.
Do you see the yellow X that is actually located on the Pacific Ocean side of the isthmus that makes up Central America? That yellow X is expected to move across the Central American nations of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras over the next few days.
If the forecast track holds true that will put the system in the western Caribbean Sea over the weekend or early next week. That forecast track over the next seven days could be one that brings concerns to residents of the northern and eastern Gulf Coast of the United States. The graphic below from the National Hurricane Center indicates the thinking of forecasters for the next seven days.
The NHC has given this system a 20% probability of strengthening over the next two days. That probability jumps to 40% over the next seven days. We should note that the water in the Gulf of Mexico is very warm and quite conducive for tropical development. However, the upper winds, Saharan Dust, and other atmospheric conditions might inhibit a system from growing stronger.
We should remind you that long-range tropical forecasts are not reliable but they do offer a glimpse of what could happen over a certain period of time. We're not suggesting that this system will develop into a hurricane or even a tropical cyclone but it is worth watching especially as you are making plans that might include the beach over Labor Day Weekend.
As far as model projections go, not all of the tropical weather models are picking up on this system. However, some of them are and they are suggesting a named tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico by next Wednesday, if not sooner. The model guidance also suggests a track that would be east of Louisiana.
Just remember Mother Nature doesn't always take our "suggestions" when it comes to when and where tropical storm systems form and where they track. The bottom line is residents of Louisiana will need to keep an eye toward the south and on the Gulf of Mexico as we move into next week and toward the Labor Day holiday.