Gulf of Mexico coast remains on alert for budding tropical system
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A broad area of disturbed weather over the Gulf of Mexico has the potential to become a tropical system while causing areas of heavy rain and building seas this week.
The system has been dubbed Potential Tropical Cyclone Three and could become a tropical depression or storm over the next few days.
As the system drifts farther away from Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, the chance of developing into a tropical system will increase.
“Lessening disruptive winds over the Gulf of Mexico, combined with very warm sea-surface temperatures, will give the system an opportunity to strengthen and organize over the next day or two,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski said.
Exactly where the system organizes fully will determine its future track.
The system may take shape over the central Gulf of Mexico and be pulled northward to the central Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle to Louisiana. Another scenario takes the system on a more westward track toward the coasts of northeastern Mexico, Texas or western Louisiana.
However, while the Gulf of Mexico may give birth to a tropical depression or storm this week, there is likely to be just enough disruptive wind above the surface to prevent the system from rapidly intensifying.
The core of heaviest rain will shift northward as the system pulls away from western Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula.
Downpours and seas will increase as the system develops and strengthens.
Residents along the United States Gulf Coast should prepare for possible flooding downpours, rough seas and locally damaging winds from a tropical depression or storm.
Worse than ruining vacation plans, lives and property may be threatened.
“It will be important to focus not necessarily on the exact track as strong winds high in the atmosphere will pull shower and thunderstorm activity well away from the low center,” Pydynowski said.
Through at least the middle of this week, the strong winds aloft will cause the heaviest downpours to target communities about a few hundred miles east and north of the system's center.
"Tropical moisture will spread from the Florida Peninsula to the Florida Panhandle and more of the central Gulf coast as the week progresses," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
"People in this area should be prepared for rounds of torrential rain that can lead to dangerous flooding and travel disruptions," Sosnowski said.
Landfall along the central and western Gulf coast could occur during Wednesday or Thursday, unless the system stalls. The latter scenario would prolong the heavy rain and increase the flood danger.
"Depending on where and when the system meanders ashore will determine the speed and extent of heavy rain spreading inland in a northward or westward manner later this week," Sosnowski said.
At this time there is a slightly higher possibility of the system moving ashore in Louisiana or the upper Texas coast, compared to other locations along the Gulf coast.
“We continue to advise that all interests along the Gulf coast of eastern Mexico and the United States should continue to monitor the progression of this system carefully,” Pydynowski said.
Hundreds of miles to the east-southeast in the Atlantic basin, another tropical system has developed into Tropical Storm Bret as it approaches Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago.
The next name on the list of tropical storms in the Atlantic Basin for 2017 is Cindy.Report a Typo
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