Tropical Cyclone Could be a Threat to South Louisiana Next Week
It is August and the Tropical Atlantic Basin remains very active with three different areas of interest being monitored. Two of the systems do not appear to be a threat to the coastline of the United States. However, the third one does.
For most of this week, we have been watching the progress of an area of disturbed weather that was moving across the southern Caribbean Sea. Forecasters with the National Hurricane Center have also been monitoring that disturbed weather's progress too. They, the Hurricane Center, are now telling us to tell you, the residents of the northern Gulf coast to be vigilant where this storm system is concerned.
As of 0400 CDT, this morning the Hurricane Center described the system as "getting better organized". Satellite images of the system, which was located a few hundred miles south of Jamaica did not show a well-defined circulation. However, conditions in the area of the storm system were described as conducive for further development.
Forecasters with the National Hurricane Center say that tropical cyclone formation is likely over the next two days. They've given the storm system an 80% probability of becoming a tropical cyclone within the next 48 hours.
Naturally, here in Louisiana, we are very concerned with the potential track of this potential cyclone. So far, the track and intensity of the storm system have been very difficult for tropical models to latch onto. Those models will continue to struggle with an accurate forecast until an actual system develops.
However, the model guidance shouldn't be ignored but it should also be taken with a grain of salt too. If there is one certainty with this system it is this, the track guidance will change, probably a lot over the next two or three days. So, while you see the spaghetti models and watch the animations, remember those are not official forecasts. Those are model solutions.
Bradley Benoit, a meteorologist with KATC has a very insightful piece about the system, the models, and how the forecast will be determined on the KATC website. It's a good read and will help you to understand why there is still a lot of uncertainty with this system.
The model trends do suggest an impact along the northern Gulf Coast next week. Depending on where the system actually tracks will go a long way in determining the effects the system will have in southern Louisiana.
We are still in "wait and see" mode but the time to begin preliminary preparations for a tropical weather event is now. As the old adage goes, prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
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