BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The tropics have come alive once again, but none of the features that we are tracking appears to be a major threat at this point in time.
The National Hurricane Center is highlighting three potential areas of development as of 7 a.m. CDT on Monday, July 20. The good news is that each is given low chances of developing into a tropical cyclone (tropical depression/storm).
The first feature is a tropical wave and associated area of weak low pressure in the northwest Gulf just off the coasts of Texas and Louisiana. While the system has become a little better organized over the last day or so, it will soon run out of time to develop as it heads into Texas. It will continue to produce rainfall along parts of the Gulf Coast over the next couple of days, but we will only see some fringe effects locally as it drifts away from the area.
The second feature we’re tracking is the one of most interest to our local area. A tropical wave extends from Cuba into the Bahamas and is moving west-northwestward. The National Hurricane Center currently gives this system a 20% chance of development as it moves into and through the Gulf over the next few days. The European model ensembles are more bullish on potential development, showing better than a 50% chance of a tropical depression forming.
Regardless of development or not, the primary impact from this system is expected to be rainfall along parts of the Gulf Coast. As it stands right now, most guidance takes the tropical wave or a weak area of low pressure into Texas by late in the week. We expect to see an enhancement in our rain chances during the second half of the week, with a 50% chance of showers and t-storms on Wednesday climbing to 60% for Thursday and Friday. The highest rain chances and amounts will likely be south of I-10 in Louisiana on the current forecast track.
Finally, we’re tracking a tropical wave midway between Africa and the Lesser Antilles. This system has some potential for development over the next couple of days, but as it gets closer to the Caribbean by late in the week, conditions are expected to be less favorable for development.
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