September 23, 2021
Posted: September 7, 2021 11:23 am
As the cleanup efforts from Hurricane Ida continue along the Gulf Coast, a new area of disturbed weather is forecast to continue its northward trek over the Gulf of Mexico. This area brings the possibility of tropical moisture to an area that is still reeling after Hurricane Ida made landfall last week in Louisiana as a Category 4 storm.
A large area of disorganized clouds is producing widespread showers and thunderstorms near the southeastern corner of Mexico and through the southern Gulf of Mexico. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has named this feature Invest 91L. The feature began to pick up strength and become more organized on Monday.
At this point, it does not appear as if Invest 91L will not intensify into a hurricane in the coming days. However, this current tropical feature will bring the possibility of flooding downpours as it moves closer toward the Gulf Coast.
Flood watches are already in effect for some parts of Louisiana, including the hardest-hit areas of Houma and New Orleans. This rainfall could be a big blow for a state that still has over 490,000 residents without power.
As Invest 91L tries to intensify, continuing wind shear and a prevalence of pockets of dry are tampering with the potential strengthening of this system. Even if this feature does not strengthen, it will still likely form a low-pressure area filled with significant moisture. This area is currently forecast to reach Louisiana stretching through the Florida Panhandle beginning on Wednesday.
The pervading wind shear in place now is predicted to let up a bit in the coming days, giving this feature a small opportunity to organize by the middle of the week.
About 1-3 inches of rain is expected to fall along the Gulf Coast as the system moves toward land. However, forecasters caution that this rainfall prediction would rise if the system turns into a tropical depression or tropical storm. If the system reaches tropical storm status, it would be called Mindy.
These showers and severe weather outbreaks may make travel difficult along Interstate 10 beginning Wednesday and lasting through Friday. Moisture from a frontal zone farther to the north will bring rain to central Louisiana, the upper Texas coast, and the southern Appalachians through Wednesday or Thursday.
Flash flooding will be a concern in parts of southeastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, southern Alabama, southern Georgia, and northern Florida through Friday. In addition to the risk of flash flooding, the region will also see the threat of waterspouts and gusty winds. This risk may linger through the early Saturday hours.
This chance of intensification could linger through Thursday, particularly along the northeastern corner of the Gulf Coast. There is also the chance that this system will intensify later in the week when it reaches the warm waters off the coast of northeastern Florida and up into the Carolinas. Should this happen, it would not transpire until late in the week and into the weekend.
The current models from the NHC predict that this feature has a 60% of further development off of the coast of Florida and Georgia starting Friday and continuing through the weekend.
While it is not likely to directly threaten the US, Hurricane Larry is also under the watchful eye of the experts at the NHC this week. As of late Monday, Larry was a large Category 3 storm predicted to skirt Bermuda on Thursday. The storm may eventually make landfall in Atlantic Canada by the weekend, with Newfoundland being in the line of fire at this time.
Large swells and rip currents from Larry may impact the Eastern Seaboard of the US over the next several days.
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