A tropical cyclone is very likely to develop in the northern Gulf of Mexico by Thursday. A broad area of low pressure is moving from the Florida panhandle into the far northeastern Gulf. Over the next few days conditions will be favorable for a tropical system to develop as this low pressure tracks westward across the northern Gulf.
Impacts in the ArkLaTex from this developing system are possible by this weekend, but the exact details remain uncertain. The precise track and intensity will be critical, but confidence in both will stay low until a tropical depression or tropical storm actually forms.
The latest computer guidance is in better agreement than yesterday showing a high likelihood of a moderate-to-strong tropical storm or perhaps weak hurricane heading into the Louisiana coast this weekend. The European Model, which has been more consistent with the track and intensity, brings the storm inland south of Baton Rouge with the greatest impacts east of the ArkLaTex from the east half of Louisiana through much of Mississippi. The American Model is now more reflective of the European and also brings the storm into Louisiana, but a little more to the west. This scenario would be a little more impactful for the ArkLaTex, particularly in terms of heavy rain potential for some of the area.
At the very least the ArkLaTex will see an increase in rain chances over the weekend. A more westward track would result in higher rain amounts across some or all of the area and the possibility of severe weather. A more eastward track would keep the heaviest rains and severe weather threat to our east.
The KSLA First Alert Weather Team will keep you updated on the development, track and expected impacts from this tropical system. Here’s how you can stay weather aware: