Gulf Coast residents should keep an eye on potential storm

Pablo Tucker
July 10, 2019

The storm is then forecast to continue moving northwestward over land and weaken into a tropical depression while continuing to produce widespread rain and gusty winds through early next week.

Earlier this week, the Colorado State University updated its forecast for this hurricane season and now expect 14 named storms, six hurricanes, and two major hurricanes.

The National Hurricane Center says the storm system that's brewing in the northern Gulf this week "could produce storm surge and tropical storm- or hurricane-force winds across portions of the Louisiana, Mississippi and Upper Texas coasts later this week, and interests there should closely monitor its progress".

A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

Operations at the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, the only US port where the largest crude tankers can load and unload, were normal on Wednesday morning, a spokeswoman said.

Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas are all making preparations for heavy rain and possible flooding. It was expected to grow into a powerful storm as it moved west through the Gulf's warm waters.

The local impacts from Potential Tropical Cyclone Two are still a bit uncertain as there is unusually low confidence in the track of this system.

This map shows the preliminary forecast track of a storm system developing in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Regardless of the classification this system develops into, both Louisiana and MS are forecast to see very heavy rain - more than a foot in some places, Brink said. "This threat includes New Orleans".

Potential storm surge has prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flood warning for the Mississippi River, including at New Orleans, through Saturday. This could present an imminent possibility for disaster since the levees are only capable of protecting the city from surges up to 20 feet.

The latest trends in steering winds suggest more of drift toward the central and western Gulf of Mexico this weekend. Storms will be strong, and potentially reaching severe status through the afternoon and evening. Isolated tornadoes and rip currents are also likely. Over the next several days, the primary risk is to the Gulf States. The year before, however, hurricane season was a lot more devastating: total losses for the oil industry-production and refining-hit US$200 billion, which became the highest storm bill in history.

The unnamed system is spinning in the same general area where Hurricane Michael gained strength last October.

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