NEW ORLEANS — We will be watching the southern Gulf this week for some low pressure to emerge and possibly develop into a depression. The National Hurricane Center has a medium chance of development through Friday.
This is associated with what was Tropical Storm Amanda in the eastern Pacific near Guatemala. The much weaker remnants of that storm are now moving north over Central America. This general low pressure area is what may eventually emerge over the Bay of Campeche this week.
Models suggest the low pressure system could drift farther north into the Gulf of Mexico late this week.
This could send rain to parts of the Gulf Coast by the weekend into early next week - but it is too early to determine specifics.
A couple of things to note:
- The development of this will be slow over the next few days, so we have time to monitor it.
- If the system does develop wind shear could keep it rather messy. This means it could turn into a rain maker. In these setups the impacts from the storm would be felt far away from the center.
Of course we'll watch things closely this week and will have updates coming frequently.
Remember, it's the time of year to start seeing some activity flare up in the Caribbean and Gulf, so this would not be anything too unusual.
Check back for updates.
The official beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season is June 1. This season is predicted to be more active than average, due to factors like a potential La Nina event by September and warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures.
NOAA's forecast issued on May 21 predicts 13-19 named storms of which 6-10 would be hurricanes and 3-6 would be major hurricanes (of Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson scale).
Tropical Storm Arthur and Tropical Storm Bertha which formed in May were the first two named storms of the year in the Atlantic. This is the sixth year in a row with a named storm forming earlier than the official start of hurricane season.
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2020 Hurricane Season forecast to be active
The Atlantic Hurricane Season begins on June 1st and predictions are being made.
Colorado State University predicts an above-normal season. The forecast calls for 16 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes ( category 3 or higher). A normal season has 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
Typically when we have an El Nino wind shear is stronger and hurricane season can be less active. The reason for this above-normal forecast is the due to the lack of El Nino expected and the possibility that La Nina develops. This could lead to weaker wind shear over areas where tropical cyclones form.
Here's a look at the chance our area will see impacts from a hurricane this season. The chance that Louisiana will see impacts from a hurricane currently sits around 43%. That's lower for Mississippi at 17%. The chance a major hurricane will hit somewhere along the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle to Texas is 44%. That's up from 30% during a normal season.
Remember, it only takes one storm for it to be an active season for our area. The Gulf Coast has seen impacts during quiet seasons and no impacts during busy seasons. It's important to have a plan regardless of the forecast.