High Chance Of Gulf Tropical Development This Week

Ivan Schwartz
June 20, 2017

The odds are still increasing that a tropical depression or storm will form in the Gulf of Mexico next week.

As of 5 a.m. Tuesday, the system is centered about 305 miles (490 kilometers) south-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River and is moving northwest near 8 mph (13 kph).

Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center said the Atlantic may have an above-average hurricane season this year, with a 70-percent likelihood of 11 to 17 named storms, of which five to nine could become hurricanes, including two to four major hurricanes. Tropical, heavy downpours are likely with storms and that could interrupt your outdoor activities and create hazardous driving conditions.

Tropical storm-force winds are expected to reach the warning area by late Tuesday.

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A tropical storm warning is in effect for Venezuela from Pedernales to Cumana, including Isla de Margarita, while a tropical storm watch is in effect for Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba. The National Hurricane Center says the storm is expected to move inshore early Thursday near the Louisiana-Texas line before weakening and moving northeastward in a sweeping arc. The previously scheduled hurricane hunter flight on Sunday was rescheduled for Monday, if necessary. Right now it has a medium chance of development as it moves west toward northern South America and the eastern Caribbean Sea next week. We will then only see a slight chance for a scattered storm Monday afternoon. High tropical moisture present will mean muggy days and warm nights though.

A storm has to have a closed center of circulation and sustained winds of 39 miles per hour to be considered a tropical (or subtropical) storm and get a name. Flash flooding could be a problem with the National Weather Service indicating 10"-15" inches of rain possible in some areas.

A storm surge between one and two feet above ground level is also possible for parts of the Louisiana coast, forecasters said, along with possible tornadoes extending into the Panhandle.

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