T.D. #8 forecast to strengthen into tropical storm; rain the primary impact

T.D. #8 forecast to strengthen into tropical storm; rain the primary impact
10 a.m. Thursday advisory and forecast track for Tropical Depression #8. The system is forecast to reach Texas on Saturday as Tropical Storm Hanna. (Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Tropical Depression #8 is churning on a steady west-northwest course that is expected to take the system into Texas by Saturday.

Enhanced infrared satellite loop showing Tropical Depression #8 moving through the central Gulf of Mexico on Thursday morning
Enhanced infrared satellite loop showing Tropical Depression #8 moving through the central Gulf of Mexico on Thursday morning (Source: WAFB)

A Tropical Storm Watch extends along much of the Texas coastline with the expectation that T.D. #8 will strengthen into Tropical Storm Hanna before landfall. Assuming that happens, it would be the earliest 8th named storm on record for the Atlantic basin, surpassing Harvey that formed on August 3, 2017.

While T.D. #8 (Hanna) is expected to make landfall in Texas, a broad expanse of moisture on its eastern side will produce several rounds of showers and thunderstorms locally over the next few days.

Daily rain chances will run 70%-80% through Saturday and locally heavy rainfall will be a possibility. Additionally, gusty winds are possible in any of the stronger rain bands that rotate inland from the Gulf of Mexico.

The other notable impact for Louisiana will be some minor coastal flooding. A Coastal Flood Advisory is posted through 7 p.m. Friday for parts of coastal SE Louisiana, where tides could run 1 to 2 feet above normal due to persistent onshore winds.

A Coastal Flood Advisory is in effect for parts of SE Louisiana through 7 p.m. Friday. Persistent onshore winds could result in water levels of 1-2 feet above normal in some areas.
A Coastal Flood Advisory is in effect for parts of SE Louisiana through 7 p.m. Friday. Persistent onshore winds could result in water levels of 1-2 feet above normal in some areas. (Source: WAFB)

Even as T.D. #8 (or Hanna) slides farther into Texas and away from us by Sunday, another disturbance will quickly track toward the Northern Gulf Coast, keeping rain chances on the high side from the second half of the weekend into the first half of next week.

Rain totals will likely average 1 to 3 inches through Sunday, with locally higher amounts possible. Highest totals will likely be along the coast, with rain amounts trending lower the farther inland you go.

Forecast rainfall for the next 7 days via NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center. Forecast issued Thursday morning.
Forecast rainfall for the next 7 days via NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center. Forecast issued Thursday morning. (Source: WAFB)

Above-normal rain chances are forecast through almost the entirety of our 10-day forecast. NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center (WPC) has 7-day rain totals ranging from around 1.5″ in SW Mississippi to 5″+ along the Louisiana coast.

And, of course, T.D. #8 is not the only system we’re tracking in the tropics. Gonzalo isn’t far from becoming the season’s first hurricane, with max winds at 65 mph as of the 10 a.m. Thursday advisory.

10 a.m. Thursday advisory and forecast track for Tropical Storm Gonzalo. The system is forecast to reach the Lesser Antilles as a hurricane by this weekend, but the National Hurricane Center notes that forecast confidence is lower than normal.
10 a.m. Thursday advisory and forecast track for Tropical Storm Gonzalo. The system is forecast to reach the Lesser Antilles as a hurricane by this weekend, but the National Hurricane Center notes that forecast confidence is lower than normal. (Source: WAFB)

The official forecast does call for Gonzalo to reach the Lesser Antilles as a hurricane by the weekend, with slow weakening forecasted thereafter as it moves deeper into the Caribbean.

The forecast beyond the first 3 days or so remains highly uncertain, with some reliable models showing the storm dissipating, while others keep it fairly strong deep into the Caribbean.

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