As Tropical Storm Gamma drifts south, weakening in intensity, all eyes are on Tropical Storm Delta which will be becoming a threat once it moves into Gulf of Mexico water by Tuesday and Wednesday.
Fortunately for Louisianans, the calendar says October, so Gulf of Mexico water temperatures are a bit cooler than previous months.
If we were seeing Delta amid June, July, August, or September, this situation would pan out differently.
Gulf of Mexico water has cooled down considerably since Cristobal, Marco, Laura, Sally, and Beta threatened our Gulf Coast region.
Sea surface temperatures have cooled significantly over these last 3 weeks since we were tracking Hurricane Sally because Sally’s upwelling combined with cold fronts impacting New Orleans lately have worked together to cool sea surface temperatures.
Warm water, 79 degrees or above, is a main ingredient in tropical cyclone formation.
Right now, Gulf of Mexico water temperatures are just below this numerical threshold, but the Caribbean Sea is plenty warm enough to support intensification and hurricane development. The cooler northern Gulf water would likely hinder further intensification and possibly weaken a system slightly as it moves into the northern Gulf.
Environmental conditions support tropical development with little shear, ample moisture, and sea surface temperatures warm enough for formation potential reaching 105 mile per hour winds as a strong Category 2, near Category 3 hurricane ahead landfall.
Review your hurricane plan and begin securing lose items or clearing storm drains while taking advantage of the gorgeous weather we have coming until at least Thursday.