Heavy rainfall continues along the northshore and Mississippi Gulf Coast Friday night

Tracking the Tropics

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 an 80% chance for formation of this gradually materializing low pressure system by tonight to early Saturday 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 possible within 36 hours or less. Per the NHC’s most recent 10PM 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 tonight 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 Mississippi Gulf Coast or beyond to Alabama’s. Timing for Gulf Coast impacts will be between late Friday 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 tonight to 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.

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