NHC: Low in Gulf likely be a tropical system by Thursday

NHC: Low in Gulf likely be a tropical system by Thursday

Hurricane Barry's path is forecast to hit New Orleans in Louisiana, where flash flooding caused half a foot of rain to fall on Wednesday.

The waters in the Gulf of Mexico are warm enough to support further strengthening as they sit in the low 30s - well above the 26.5 C temperature needed to fuel a tropical system.

So, assuming this low does make it out into the Gulf of Mexico - and signs are good that it will - what will become of it then?

The Bermuda-based high pressure centre gives winds more of a northerly push over the northern Gulf, but it remains to be seen how much impact it will have on our developing target.

The Mississippi River is predicted to crest at 20 feet on Saturday, which, as meteorologist Eric Holthaus pointed out, is the height of New Orleans' levees.

The weather disturbance, now spinning off the coast of the Florida Panhandle, could either form as a tropical depression or a tropical storm.

The tropical "disturbance" set to hit the Gulf may soon become Hurricane Barry, the latest indications from the National Hurricane Center announced late Wednesday afternoon show, which designated the cluster of storms over the GoM as "Potential Tropical Cyclone 2". However, should the system come back inland to North America, it is possible that sometime next week remaining moisture or rain could get tied up in a weather system that would head our way. Confidence is high that a tropical depression will develop and strengthen into a tropical storm!

"This weekend looks to carry the most significant flooding threat for southern Louisiana, as what is expected to be Hurricane Barry by that time makes landfall in southwestern Louisiana", Sojda said.

This means tropical storm conditions will take effect within 48 hours.

For now the short term high resolution models Indicate a system approaching the Louisiana Coast by Friday with a landfall anytime from Friday night through Saturday afternoon/evening.

Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas are all making preparations for heavy rain and possible flooding.

The Flood Protection Authority said it will be closing several flood gates and structures in the New Orleans area starting Wednesday morning.

Kottlowski has been warning since early April that the Gulf of Mexico, as well as areas east of Bermuda and off the southeastern coast of the United States, need to be watched closely for early season development due to water temperatures running above normal.

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