Chance of tropical system developing now 90 percent

Don Ames
October 06, 2018 - 1:21 pm

A broad area of low pressure in the Western Caribbean is Invest 91. 

"There is a high chance, by late this weekend or next week, that a tropical depression will form," says WWL-TV meteorologist Chris Franklin. "It's up to a 90% chance for development as of Saturday morning."

"Forecast models are showing that this low could move into the Gulf Sunday or Monday. There is a lot of uncertainty with the forecast models and it's too soon to say if it will be anything, but the model trend has been for a depression or Tropical Storm Michael. Rain chances will increase over our area whether it develops or not."

"There's a great deal of thunderstorm activity off the coast of Honduras and Nicaragua. There are periods of flare-ups and dissipation of the thunderstorms. So far, there has been no tight circulation. However, a broad circulation has been observed over the western Caribbean."

"It's still very uncertain as to exactly where it's going to go. Models continue to say it should stay to the east of southeast Louisianan, which would keep us on the drier side. But things can change as the system is trying to get better organized," says Franklin.

Since it's not an organized system yet, models will change and could change a lot. Until it's a depression or storm with an actual center of circulation, we have to rely more on the model output.

Morning runs of the two major global models, both keep system just east of Louisiana. Both do develop it into a depression or tropical storm.

The latest GFS run is also developing the system into a more organized feature, moving into the Florida panhandle late Wednesday around Panama City.

The latest European run develops it, as well, and brings it closer to our coast before bringing it to around Pensacola Thursday morning.

There is also abundant dry air across much of the Gulf today. Some organization is possible either late Sunday or next week in the NW Caribbean or south-central Gulf.

"History remains on our side with regards to a land falling hurricane near New Orleans this late in the season. Looking back at recorded history, from October 8 onward, only 3 hurricanes have made landfall within 100 miles of New Orleans."

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