LAFAYETTE, LA — UPDATE: Thursday, 08/15/13 @ 1am: Thunderstorm activity has decreased over the last few hours, but the conditions seem marginally conducive for a depression or storm to form over the next 2-3 days. In fact, the NHC puts potential for development at 70% over the next 48 hours. However, the storm will be passing over the Yucatan Peninsula later today, so this should help to disrupt any development that may occur in the next few hours. After that, it will emerge in the southern Gulf of Mexico, and the models are still split on any potential landfall thereafter. It's important to note that none of the models intensify this into a hurricane. Most predict only a mid range tropical storm. We will know more later this afternoon after the Air Force flies into the storm to see if there is a low level circulation or not. That will also make the model runs more reliable.
We continue to monitor an area of low pressure in the western Caribbean Sea. It's part of a wave bringing in deep tropical moisture.
The tropical wave is heading northwest at 12-18 mph. Right now, spaghetti models remain split on the path of this next possible system. Global models also remain undecided on the path.
There are really two senarios regarding the possible tropical development of this area of low pressure.
Option #1: the low develops into a tropical storm directly after passing the Yucatan Pennisula. Steering winds would drive the tropical storm northward towards the northern Gulf. Landfall would most likely be a near the Florida-Alabama line as a tropical storm. Heavy rain and potential flooding would be a major concern for the Gulf Coast and Louisiana for the upcoming weekend.
Option #2: the tropical wave would never close and would remain open. Its path would be directly west northwest towards northern Mexico and southern Texas. There would be no threat to Louisiana.
The latest tropical update will be out shortly. Our Weather Team will continue to keep you posted on the latest developments of Invest 92L.