A heat advisory will remain in effect for a large part of Acadiana today as highs will reach the mid to upper 90s with heat index values approaching 110 degrees. A dome of high pressure is still holding over Louisiana and much of the northern Gulf Coast today and will remain in place tomorrow. Later in the week, the ridge will slide toward the northeast, allowing tropical moisture to move in and break the heat wave by the weekend. Take frequent breaks and try to get into shady areas or air conditioning if possible and be sure to stay hydrated.
The potential for a tropical system to develop over the eastern Gulf of Mexico has been the all the talk over the past few days. Here’s what we know right now. A trough of low pressure is still over land near southern Georgia. This trough will slide southward into the Gulf of Mexico near the Florida panhandle later today or early Wednesday. As of now there is no organized tropical activity, but the area over the eastern Gulf has favorable conditions for this low pressure trough to work with. Water temperatures are in the upper 80s and upper level winds and shear are low. The National Hurricane Center is still betting there’s an 80% chance for development in this area over the next several days. Even though models seem more in agreement with a system developing and drifting westward, this system hasn’t officially developed. If it looks better organized, and recon data ends up being collected, we’ll then have a better handle on the forecast.
At this time the Monday evening Euro model (shown above) is still being fairly aggressive on developing the low into a tropical storm. If it reaches this status, the name will be Barry. The Euro drifts it into the central Gulf of Mexico, then turns it northward toward the southwest Louisiana coast as a high end tropical storm. Rainfall amounts would be excessive, creating a flood threat. Latest numbers are quite extreme from Acadiana eastward toward the North Shore with over 12 inches of rain possible, and some areas even more! The newest GFS model from Tuesday Morning (shown below) is similar in track, bringing a weak tropical depression or tropical wave toward the Texas coast. Rainfall according to the GFS would be considerably less, with the peak amounts along the Louisiana/Texas state line. The Monday evening GFS called for a tropical storm landfall over southwest Louisiana with rainfall amounts up to a foot. This is only a minor change in track, but a major difference in intensity. Consistency is what we look for in consecutive model runs. This is a big swing from the previous.
This is still a developing weather story. Be ready for the possibility of flooding, and take the next few days to do what it takes to prevent flooding by clearing debris from any drains and gutters. It’s also a good time to trim back any branches that could do damage to your home, and pick up any loose items that may move due to wind.