All week, we have been closely watching one area of clouds and thunderstorms for potential development as a weak tropical storm within the next 6-12 hours.
Right now, there is about a 70% chance for formation of this gradually materializing low pressure system by overnight to early Saturday morning through your weekend. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is issuing advisories on Potential Tropical Cyclone 3 (PTC3) and has issued Tropical Storm Warnings across the Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama Gulf Coasts as tropical storm conditions are continuing until further notice. Per the NHC’s most recent 1AM update, PTC3’s track has shifted very little. The system is not named because Hurricane Hunters could not find a well defined circulation but it has high enough wind speeds to meet tropical storm criteria.
As a result of wind shear, the system will stay weak in intensity with much of the heaviest rain displaced well east of wherever its center tracks onshore before moving inland.
More than likely, a low intensity tropical disturbance will progress into the northern Gulf of Mexico for increased rain chances and a coastal flooding threat along Louisiana to Alabama Gulf Coast locations overnight until Saturday. Anticipate an increased flood and heavy rainfall threat with totals between 2-3+ inches throughout New Orleans proper and 6-10+ inches east, along the northshore, Mississippi Gulf Coast, or beyond to Alabama’s. Flash Flood Warnings remain in effect for St. Tammany Parish as well as Hancock and Harrison Counties beyond 3AM. Timing for Gulf Coast impacts will be between now and Saturday, with additional rain chances unrelated to this system Sunday and Monday.
Right now, the Storm Prediction Center is issuing a Level 1/5 Marginal Risk for severe weather across southeast Louisiana through Saturday given a low-end tornado threat as outer bands move through. Storm surge levels appear minimal between 1-3 feet, and wind gusts will likely range from 35-50 miles per hour, meaning power outages are a possibility.
The next name on the Hurricane Season 2021 naming list is Claudette because Tropical Storm Bill already came and went off of the East Coast. The next one on the list after this is Danny.
Stay with WGNO all weekend for forecast information on this system during our newscasts, online, and by downloading the WGNO app.
Be intentional in reviewing your hurricane season preparedness plans and gathering necessary supplies as a precaution.