Tropical system to threaten Gulf possibly Louisiana next 5-7 days

Posted at 4:03 PM, Jul 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-07 18:13:31-04

A broad area of low pressure may become a tropical depression (50%) in the Northeast Gulf of Mexico by Friday, and perhaps sooner.

The system is expected to meander westward thereafter with potential impacts for Louisiana, and considering the most recent run of the Euro model, including the possibility of a tropical storm/flooding rainfall event impacting anywhere from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle later in the week and into next weekend.

And while there are still a few days for many changes in the forecast ahead, it would be prudent for Acadiana to start thinking that we may have to prepare by mid-week for the possibility of a storm coming our way later this week or next weekend (and maybe longer), and what items you may have on the "storm checklist" should a system threaten.

The Details:

Both the Euro & GFS models agree on a disturbance developing near the Northeastern Gulf, but the Euro definitively moves and strengthens the system toward Louisiana, while the GFS maintains a more northward, and weaker drift, impacting primarily the Florida Coasts.

The GFS however, maintains a rather depressed/weak mid-level and surface pattern into next weekend, allowing any potential system to drift most anywhere.

The question ahead this week, will be the strength of a potential blocking ridge to the north and where any weaknesses may be in that ridge, to permit the system to move northward?

Even though it statistically may be a roughly a 1 in 3 chance as of Sunday afternoon, that this could be an impactful system for portions of Louisiana, we should probably pay attention to the Euro Model most closely as it errs on the side of most caution.

Don't Pay Attention to one Model...this is what we know:

We know that there is going to be a an area of disturbed weather in the Northeastern Gulf of Mexico with a 50/50 chance of it becoming a tropical depression by Friday, and possibly as soon as of late Wednesday or Thursday.

This system could drift westward near and along the northern Gulf Coast while having the potential to become a tropical storm.

Main/major impacts from this system will likely be rainfall, with rain totals in some spots exceeding 10 inches, possibly reaching 20 inches or more over a multi-day event due to its anticipated slow-movement...this scenario can play out anywhere from Florida to Louisiana, and we can't even count out Texas quite yet...but they will be "fringe watchers" for a few days at the very least.

Euro model rainfall total predictions today could shift widely west or east in the focus over the next 5-6 days, but the model has been flagging a potential wide-spread, heavy rain/flooding event for some areas of the Northern Gulf Coast.

Do not pay attention to where there storm is predicting the rainfall amounts for each location, but how the stripe of 10-15 inches of rain or more, remains a persistent feature of future model runs.

If the system strengthens, we may have add a wind threat and even an exposure to a coastal storm surge threat, especially for Southeast Louisiana, later in the week and into possibly the following weekend.

Hopefully this will just be a tropical preparedness drill for Acadiana, but it could certainly be a real world scenario as the Euro model points out later this week, so be ready and stay with KATC for the latest models, forecasts and projections...they will all likely change.