Tropical Development More Likely Near Louisiana Coast
Residents of coastal Louisiana might want to pay just a little more attention to an area of disturbed weather that is currently located about 1,000 miles away from you. Yeah, it's that same area of disturbed weather you were made aware of earlier this week. And while that weather system is currently east of Miami it could become front page news in cities like Lafayette and Lake Charles in less than five days.
Here's the scenario the forecast team at the National Hurricane Center is telling us to tell you. The area of showers and storms over the Bahamas right now will move westward across Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico. By midweek next week a low pressure system is forecast to form in the same area of the Gulf where these storms will be.
The graphic above from the NHC illustrates the general thinking of where the weather system might be over the next seven days. As you can see the "swath" of uncertainty, is that what we call it, is quite large. But you might also notice compared to earlier reports the swath is now color-coded orange. That means forecasters have upped the probability of a tropical system developing.
As of the 0100 AM CDT Update from the Hurricane Center the probability of development for this system had been raised from 30% to 50%. We should clarify that is development of a tropical cyclone, aka depression or tropical storm. There are currently no forecast models suggesting this system will develop into a hurricane, at least as of this writing.
In fact, very few of the tropical forecast models are suggesting the system will be anything greater than a low level tropical depression, if that. But, whatever the system is or isn't, it's proximity to Louisiana's coastline could make a huge difference for the communities along and south of I-10.
While all of Louisiana has been baking this summer, and we are about to really turn the heat up next week, much of the southwestern section of the state has been hot and really dry. Northern and central sections of Louisiana have had the benefit of passing storms over the past few weeks but the bayous in South Louisiana are running slow and now low.
The graphic below provided by the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Lake Charles illustrates the drought conditions quite well. Unfortunately, the precipitation outlook doesn't seem to suggest much relief coming our way anytime soon.
A tropical system in the Gulf might enhance moisture in the atmosphere and combined with the heat the hope would be a greater threat of rain next week. Now, let's see what science has to say versus hope. Science says not much of a chance of rain for South Louisiana next week.
Monday does hold a 40% chance of showers, mainly in the afternoon cities like Lafayette, Lake Charles, and Baton Rouge, but after that the only moisture you might see is sweat. That's because afternoon temperatures by midweek will are forecast to be in the 105 degree range. No, that's not the heat index, that's the real temperature.
That's what the thinking on the tropics and the heatwave are as of early Saturday morning August 19, 2023. The forecast will change and there is not a lot of confidence in the forecast for the area of disturbed weather that's moving into the Gulf. So, do check back for updates.