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Tropical Storm Beta to bring heavy rain and surge threat to parts of the Gulf Coast

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Posted at 4:08 PM, Sep 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-20 00:08:13-04

The good news coming out of today is that Tropical Storm Beta continues to encounter a healthy amount of dry air on its western side as well as unfavorable wind shear in the upper parts of the atmosphere.

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These two limiting factors are prohibiting the storm from getting its act together and thus further intensification did not occur this afternoon despite the very warm water temperatures in this part of the Gulf.

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As long as the dry air and wind shear are in place, the storm will continue to face difficulties in its developmental processes.

If the shear persists, that would tend to "shear" the heaviest of the convection to the east of the center of circulation, so although the center of the storm will past to the south and west of our area, that would still put us on the eastern side of this system which means heavy tropical rain showers would be sent in our general direction.

As a result, what we will have to be on the lookout for is the potential for heavy outer tropical rain bands that move in from the Gulf on Sunday and into the first parts of next week.

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Some of these bands would likely "train" over certain areas for a prolonged period of time meaning some spots across the area could pick up 3-5+ inches of rain in a short period of time. Thus, localized flooding will be a concern for some.

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Predicting where these outer bands will set up is nearly impossible, so that is just something all of us across Acadiana will have to be prepared for.

The best case scenario would be that the dry air continues to disrupt the storm and the heaviest of the rainfall stays offshore, but that is yet to be determined.

Furthermore, an increase in our tides can be expected. Tides are expected to increase along the coast by 1-3 feet.

A coastal flood ADVISORY has been issued for Vermilion parish until 7 pm on Tuesday.

We can also expect some breezy conditions over the next several days, but wind is looking like a minimal threat at least at this time.

Bottom line: We will continue to monitor the progression of the storm closely and we should remain prepared for the heavy rainfall threat, but there is nothing to be panicked about.

Continue to stay with the KATC storm team for the very latest.

7:00 p.m. update, Sept. 19: